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World - Europe

NATO reports 'breakthrough' against Serb forces

story
Serb state television reported that buildings at an oil refinery in Novi Sad were destroyed

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InteractiveIMAGE GALLERY:
Of burning flags and rock concerts:

Protesting the NATO strikes

Belgrade cruise missile strike

The Serbs and Kosovo
 ALSO
Deal afoot to free captured U.S. soldiers?

Kosovar refugee wants to go back home

Macedonians move more refugees to NATO-run camps

Russian aid both blessed and cursed

 MESSAGE BOARD
Crisis in Kosovo
 MAPS
NATO officials describe attacks from day one through day fourteen
 

April 7, 1999
Web posted at: 12:49 p.m. EDT (1649 GMT)


In this story:

NATO rejects cease-fire

More aid for refugees

Captured U.S. soldiers soon free?

Britain lashes out at Milosevic

Serbian TV airs footage of damage

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) -- A NATO military spokesman said Wednesday its air campaign had achieved a "major breakthrough" against Serb ground forces in Kosovo by hitting an armored column involved in the crackdown against ethnic Albanians in the Serb province.

Air Commodore David Wilby of Britain said the last round of airstrikes had hit 28 fixed-target areas, including an armored convoy of between seven to 12 armored vehicles.

Wilby, addressing a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, described the latest bombings as "robust" and said NATO bombs also hit such targets as ammunition depots, bridges and command and control centers.

The Yugoslav state news agency Tanjug reported Wednesday that at least 10 civilians were killed and eight others seriously injured in the airstrikes, which the agency said hit the densely populated Kosovo capital of Pristina Tuesday night.

The death toll could rise, because rescue teams had not finished searching all the Pristina houses hit, Tanjug said.

NATO rejects cease-fire

NATO's civilian spokesman, Jamie Shea, also speaking in Brussels, repeated NATO's refusal to abide by Milosevic's unilateral cease-fire announcement, which was made Tuesday.

Shea said NATO would accept nothing less than full Yugoslav compliance with NATO conditions for a Kosovo settlement, which include the return of Kosovo refugees and an interim peace accord monitored by thousands of NATO-led ground troops.

Shea said the Serb crackdown against ethnic Albanians was continuing, with 42,000 expelled on Tuesday. Overall, 912,000 Kosovo Albanians have been displaced in the past year because of the conflict, he added.

More aid for refugees

The refugee situation in the region improved Wednesday after Macedonia finished emptying the border enclave at Blace, where tens of thousands of Kosovo refugees had been trapped for days in squalid conditions.

Between 25,000 and 30,000 ethnic Albanians were bused overnight to new NATO tent cities at Stenkovec and other locations, where they received hot meals and medical attention.

Meanwhile, Yugoslav authorities on Wednesday reportedly closed the border between Yugoslavia and neighboring Macedonia and Albania.

Captured U.S. soldiers soon free?

In Cyprus, acting President Spyros Kyprianou said he was close to arranging the release of three U.S. soldiers who were captured by Serb forces while on patrol last week.

In Belgrade, a senior Yugoslav official confirmed to CNN that a delegation from Cyprus was expected to discuss the matter.

NATO on Wednesday rejected any conditions that Belgrade might attach to the men's possible release.

Britain lashes out at Milosevic

British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, speaking in London, said Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was responsible for the Serb economy shrinking by more than half -- an economic situation that stood in stark contrast to Milosevic's personal wealth.

"Tell the people of Serbia how much wealth you have sucked out during the same years they have been impoverished in Serbia," Cook said.

Serbian TV shows footage of damage

damage
Damaged houses in Nis  

Serbian television said Wednesday that NATO'S rejection of the announced unilateral cease-fire proved NATO's "criminal intentions" to impose foreign "occupation" troops on the country.

Cook described Milosevic's cease-fire announcement as a "sham."

A statement from the Yugoslav army said the armed forces were abiding by the cease-fire, and there was no military activity in the province except NATO attacks.

Government media said the targets included a fuel storage facility at the airport near Pristina, Kosovo's capital; a residential area near the old post office in central Pristina; a fuel depot in the village of Devet Jugovica and unspecified targets in Ajvalija and Gracanica on the outskirts of Pristina.

State television also said a garage and warehouse at an oil refinery in Novi Sad, Serbia's second largest city, were destroyed, and that the industrial zone in the central Serbian city of Nis was attacked.

A group of professors from Belgrade University, mostly members of the neo-Communist Yugoslav Left led by Milosevic's wife, stood on a Belgrade bridge throughout the night to serve as a "human shield" against the NATO attacks.



RELATED STORIES:
NATO defies Yugoslav cease-fire with more bombing
April 7, 1999
NATO rejects cease-fire, resumes bombing Yugoslavia
April 6, 1999
NATO rejects Yugoslav unilateral cease-fire offer
April 6, 1999
Airstrikes hit home in a small Serbian town
April 6, 1999
Support for ground troops swells in Congress
April 4, 1999
Russian anger at NATO attacks goes deeper than 'Slavic brotherhood'
April 4, 1999
U.N.: Kosovo refugee flood could reach 1 million
April 4, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

Yugoslavia:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News


Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

Relief:
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Unicef USA
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • World Vision
  • CARE: The Kosovo Crisis
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Disaster Relief from DisasterRelief.org
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page


Media:
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

Other:
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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