Two Albanians jailed by Serb courts for terrorism

BELGRADE, Feb 2, 2000 -- (AFP) A Serb court on Tuesday sentenced two Kosovo Albanians to 15 and five years in prison for "terrorist activities," Beta news agency reported.

Agim Ejshani, 46, was sentenced in the southern Serbian town of Leskovac to 15 years jail for participating in a mortar attack on a police station in central Kosovo in September 1998.

The same court jailed Zahir Agushi, 49, for five years, for helping the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which fought for independence for Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority, the agency said.

Both men are from the central Kosovo town of Klina.

The KLA was officially demilitarized last September after the United Nations took over the administration of the Serbian province.

A total of 1,700 ethnic Albanians are held in Serbian prisons, mostly accused of being KLA members, according to the non-governmental Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade.

More than 170 ethnic Albanians have been convicted in the past three months and sentenced to jail terms ranging from three to 15 years.

More than 230 other defendants have been released since mid-June, when Belgrade transferred some 2,050 prisoners from Kosovo when it was forced by NATO air attacks to withdraw its forces from the province.