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Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
'Plot' to kill Nato chiefs
George Robertson
Lord Roberston may have been at risk from a missile attack
By Nicholas Wood in Pristina

Diplomatic sources say there may have been a plot to kill Nato Secretary-General Lord Robertson and Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark during a visit to Kosovo last week.

Reports carried by The Times and Telegraph newspapers say CIA officers feared the pair could have been at risk from a rocket attack as they travelled from the Macedonian capital, Skopje, to Pristina by helicopter.

British and US diplomats in Pristina have reacted cautiously to the suggestion that Serbia may have wanted to attack Lord Robertson and General Wesley Clark.

The journey was delayed by five hours for operational reasons, according to K-For spokesmen, and their route into the country was changed.

Mitrovica visit cancelled

A visit to the divided town of Mitrovica was also cancelled.

The possibility of a shoulder-launched missile attack on military personnel or the UN has preoccupied security officials here since a UNHCR bus carrying Serbs was blown up in early February.

However, both K-For officials and diplomats based in Kosovo have expressed their surprise at the possibility of Serbs being able to launch such an attack from within Kosovo.

They also said that any threats, however small, would be taken very seriously.

The visit, to mark the first anniversary of Nato's bombing campaign, was viewed by K-For officials as a success but both Lord Robertson and General Clark came under criticism for their failure to go to Mitrovica.

The continued division of the town along ethnic lines, with Serbs to the north and Albanians to the south, is seen as one of the international community's main failures in the province.

Officials said at the time that the trip could not be completed due to security concerns.

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23 Mar 00 | Europe
Kosovo 'requires patience'
16 Mar 00 | Europe
Nato's incomplete victory
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