YU demands UN Security Council meet after Kosovo violence

BELGRADE, Feb 14, 2000 -- (AFP) The Yugoslav government demanded Sunday that the U.N. Security Council hold an emergency meeting to find a way to end the "genocidal" attacks on Serbs in Kosovo, following a deadly gunfight in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica.

"The attack against Kosovska Mitrovica is part of a clear plot by the (ethnic) Albanian terrorists who want to clean all of Kosovo of Serbs and create an ethnically pure state," the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Tanjug news agency.

It said it had sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council asking it take "forceful measures so that the attacks by the Albanian terrorists against the defenceless Serbian population (in Kosovo) cease immediately and that long-term consequences are avoided."

Tanjug earlier reported that four Serbs had been wounded by gunshots in Kosovska Mitrovica during the day.

The Yugoslav foreign ministry said the attack by armed ethnic Albanians who fired on Serbs and peacekeepers from the NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR) in the town was an organised assault by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The KLA was a former rebel organisation that transformed into a lightly armed civil protection force under KFOR's supervision.

KFOR troops who fanned out in the city when the shooting began killed one ethnic Albanian sniper and wounded and captured four others. Two French peacekeepers were shot and wounded in the hours-long confrontation.

In its statement, the Foreign Ministry said that German and British soldiers in Kosovo had "encouraged the criminal attacks of the terrorist groups of the so-called KLA."

Yugoslav forces conducting a military offensive against the KLA and ethnic Albanian population were forced to withdraw from Kosovo in June 1999 after a two-and-a-half month bombing campaign by NATO aircraft.

KFOR took over security functions in the province, which has been put under UN administration. But the peacekeepers have largely been unable to stop a wave of reprisal attacks by the ethnic Albanians which has largely emptied Kosovo of its Serbs.

Original article