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Muslim Albanians conduct 'ethnic cleansing'

The Nato commander in overall charge of Kosovo has likened the recent violence in the province - in which at least 28 people have died - to ethnic cleansing
Saturday, 20 March, 2004, 00:40 GMT BBC News - UK

Mobs of angry Albanians set alight Serbian Orthodox churches and Serb-owned homes across Kosovo on Thursday.

Admiral Gregory Johnson said almost 1,000 Serbs had been driven from their homes after attacks by ethnic Albanians

It is the worst outbreak of violence since Nato forces entered Kosovo in 1999 to end years of ethnic unrest.

Meanwhile, reinforcements for Nato peacekeepers have started arriving in Kosovo following the deadly clashes.

'Attempted pogrom'

Admiral Johnson also said he believed that some of the trouble had been orchestrated.

He added that Nato peacekeepers were investigating whether the violence had been organised by ethnic Albanian militants.


Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has himself described the attacks as "planned in advance and co-ordinated... this was an attempted pogrom and ethnic cleansing" against Kosovo's Serbs.

Serbia has also has accused both the UN and Nato of failing to protect Kosovo's Serbs.

On Friday UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the decision to send Nato reinforcements had been taken in view of the worsening security situation since trouble erupted earlier in the week.

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said that the reinforcement troops' presence "is being felt" and, while there have been reports of more clashes and looting, most incidents have been on a smaller scale compared to earlier in the week.

Serbia has also has accused both the UN and Nato of failing to protect Kosovo's Serbs.

On Friday UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the decision to send Nato reinforcements had been taken in view of the worsening security situation since trouble erupted earlier in the week.

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said that the reinforcement troops' presence "is being felt" and, while there have been reports of more clashes and looting, most incidents have been on a smaller scale compared to earlier in the week.

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3551571.stm