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Monday, March 9, 1998 Published at 17:12 GMT


Kosovo: Chronology of recent events

1989

Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic takes away Kosovo's autonomy.

Street violence erupts when the Kosovo assembly approves the measure.

More than 20 people are killed and scores arrested when violence escalates to gun battles.

1990

January - Police use tear gas, truncheons and water cannon on thousands of ethnic Albanian demonstrators.

The unrest escalates and on January 28 police shoot dead at least 10.

February - Yugoslavia sends troops, tanks, warplanes and 2,000 more police to Kosovo.

By the end of the month more than 20 people have been killed and a curfew imposed.

July - Ethnic Albanian legislators in the province declare independence. Serbia dissolves the Kosovo assembly. Strikes and protests continue.

1991

The Bosnian war begins

Albania's parliament recognises Kosovo as an independent republic.

1992

May - Writer Ibrahim Rugova is elected president of the self-proclaimed republic after an election held in defiance of Serbian authorities.

October - Serb and ethnic Albanian leaders in Kosovo hold face-to-face peace talks for the first time in three years.

1993

Police arrest more than 30 ethnic Albanians on suspicion of preparing an armed uprising.

1995

July - A Serbian court sentences 68 ethnic Albanians for up to eight years in prison for allegedly setting up a parallel police force.

August - Serbian authorities settle several hundred Croatian Serb refugees in Kosovo, drawing protests from ethnic Albanian leaders.

1996

Serbia signs a deal with ethnic Albanian leaders to return Albanian students to mainstream education after a six-year boycott of state schools and colleges.

1997

January - The Serb rector of Pristina University is badly injured by a car bomb.

Within weeks, at least 26 ethnic Albanians are arrested in a series of police raids and a suspected leader of the outlawed Liberation Army of Kosovo is killed in a gun battle with police.

March - Four people are injured when a bomb explodes in the centre of Pristina.

The state prosecutor charges 18 alleged members of the illegal "National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo" with terrorism offences.

September - Armed men stage simultaneous night attacks on police stations in 10 Kosovo towns and villages. As the number of guerrilla incidents increase, clashes also continue sporadically betwen police and peaceful protesters.

October-December - A grenade and machinegun raid is made on a Serb refugee camp, but there are no casualties.

Separatists claim to have shot down a Yugoslav Airlines training aircraft.

A Serbian court sentences 17 ethnic Albanians to a total of 186 years in jail on terrorism charges.

1998

January

An ethnic Serb politician is killed in apparent retaliation for a police action 24 hours before in which an ethnic Albanian was reported killed.

February-March - Gun battles leave 16 Albanians and four police dead.

Tens of thousands protest in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, against the violence, and street clashes erupt.

Heavily armed Serbian police and army groups surround and attack the village of Prekaz, which they identify as a stronghold of Kosovo's militant separatists.



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