Nato troops raid Albanian rebel camps

Thursday, 16 March, 2000

US soldiers have found 20 crates of guns and ammunition and more than 200 uniforms in raids on Albanian guerrillas along Kosovo's border with Serbia.
The Nato-led K-For peacekeeping force said at least one of the locations it searched appeared to be a training or staging base for extremist elements operating in Kosovo, southern Serbia or Macedonia.
It said nine people had been arrested on suspicion of having links with guerrillas fighting Serb forces.
The raids follow widespread international concern about the possibility of a new conflict around Kosovo's eastern border.
An armed ethnic Albanian group has recently emerged in the region, pledging to respond to an alleged campaign by Serbian security forces against the Albanian community in south-eastern Serbia.

Serb officials say the group uses Kosovo as a base, and its members can move freely between the province, which has been under UN control since last June, and Serbia itself.
Belgrade has already set up more border checkpoints and patrols.
But Albanians are uncomfortable with the Serb checks because they see them as a grim reminder of what happened in Kosovo.
K-For said that Thursday's operation had been aimed at five targets along a 28km front and had begun early on Wednesday morning.
"Any insurgent activity that endangers the progress achieved to date in Kosovo will not be tolerated, regardless of the nature of the group engaged in such activity," a K-for statement said.
In particular, it said the raids were aimed at preventing attacks across the boundary line into the Presevo valley, in Serbia - the scene of sporadic clashes between ethnic Albanian militants and Serbian security forces.
The BBC's Belgrade Correspondent Jacky Rowland says the international community is keen to prove to Kosovo Serbs they are not guilty of double standards.

Original article