Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Raphael Jerusum
"Virtual prisoners"
 real 28k

The BBC's Jacky Rowland
"The Albanian fighters appear to belong to a shadowy new group"
 real 28k

Saturday, 4 March, 2000, 18:19 GMT
Kosovo violence spreads to Serbia
serb police
Serbs are authorised to maintain the order near the border
Clashes have been taking place near the Serbia-Kosovo border between a new armed ethnic-Albanian group and Serbian police.

US soldiers patrolling the Kosovo side of the border said the exchanges in the Serbian village of Dobrosin lasted for two hours.

Kosovo: Special Report
The village is in the demilitarised Serbian border zone, less than a kilometre from the border with the UN-administered province.

A K-For spokesman said: "The gunfire is assessed to be between armed Albanian extremists and Serbian local police who are authorised to maintain civilian law and order within the 5km-wide ground safety zone."

Troops reinforced

As a result of the clash, about 170 ethnic Albanians fled the area and moved into Kosovo.

The Nato-led peacekeeping force in the north of the province has also been reinforced.

albanian and serb
A large ethnic-Albanian population live in south Serbia
The peacekeepers say an extremist ethnic-Albanian group has become active in the region in recent weeks.

The group calls itself the Liberation Army for Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (UCPMB), after the main towns in the area. Its members first appeared in public at the January funeral of two ethnic-Albanian brothers who, according to their family, were killed by Serbian police.

They have been blamed for killing a senior Serb police officer and attacking United Nations staff.

Serbian riot

In another development, Swedish peacekeeping troops fired warning shots to calm a Serbian riot that left five ethnic Albanians injured in the central Kosovo village of Gracanica.

About 70 Serbs gathered in protest after a grenade was allegedly thrown at a Serbian house on the edge of the village, just south of the provincial capital Pristina, said Mark Cox, a spokesman for the K-For peacekeeping force.

Nobody was hurt in the grenade attack early on Saturday, but Serbs started stoning ethnic Albanian cars passing through the village.

One of the ethnic Albanians was seriously injured and admitted to a British military hospital, while the others were transported to Pristina hospital with minor injuries.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Europe Contents

Country profiles
See also:

03 Mar 00 |  Europe
Mitrovica Albanians return home
04 Feb 00 |  Europe
Analysis: What went wrong?
23 Feb 00 |  Europe
UN seeks Mitrovica solution
24 Jun 99 |  Europe
Mitrovica: A divided town
12 Nov 99 |  Europe
Q & A: Counting Kosovo's dead
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Europe stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories