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Friday, May 28, 1999 Published at 06:29 GMT 07:29 UK


World: Europe

Serbs shell Albanian border

The bombs fell near a major refugee crossing

By Peter Biles in Kukes

Kosovo: Special Report
Thursday saw some of the heaviest fighting so far between Serb forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army on the Kosovo border with Northern Albania.

Serbian shells were fired over the border near the main crossing point used by refugees fleeing Kosovo.

Throughout the day Serbian shells could be seen landing inside Albania very close to the Morina checkpoint on the main road between the Kosovo town of Prizren and the Albanian town of Kukes.


The BBC's Jeremy Cooke reports: Crossings are becoming increasingly dangerous
It is assumed the Serbs were targeting positions held by the Kosovo Liberation Army, who appear to be trying to gain more of a foothold inside Kosovo.

Occasional exchanges of fire were heard along a stretch of the border.

A journalist from Chile who was at the Morina border crossing was seriously wounded during the crossfire and had to be flown to Tirana for emergency medical treatment.

Albanian military reinforcement

Amid the increasing tension, the Albanian army has stepped up its presence in the area.


[ image: A Kosovo Albanian injured by Serb shells]
A Kosovo Albanian injured by Serb shells
Ten tanks were engaged in live firing exercises just four miles from the border this morning, while other Albanian tanks have taken up positions on the main road.

So far though the Albanians have not become involved in the conflict.

Nato planes, however, have been continuing to bomb Serbian positions just inside Kosovo.

Refugees continue to arrive

In the midst of this more refugees have been on the move.

Scores of men arrived in Albania who had been released by the Serbs from detention in the now notorious prison near Mitrovica.

More than 1,000 of these men entered Albania last weekend.

On Thursday whole families of men, women and children arrived from Prizren.

Many of them said that as they fled the Serbs had been burning buildings in the city.



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Internet Links


Serbian Ministry of Information

Kosovo Crisis Centre

Eyewitness accounts of the bombing

Nato

Albania Daily News


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