Nato says will not tolerate Presevo attacks

NAPLES, Italy, Apr 1, 2000 -- (Reuters) NATO will not tolerate attacks on southern Serbia by guerrillas based in the mainly ethnic Albanian Presevo valley, NATO military chief General Wesley Clark said on Friday.

Asked about reports that ethnic Albanian rebels calling themselves the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac had carried out armed attacks on targets in Serbia, Clark said:

"We know there are some Albanians who have been concerned about the safety of their families and some extremists who have attempted to apply the same model of village defense leading to escalating conflict over in the Presevo area.

"But we're engaged in a very open campaign to convince these people that NATO is not going to support any extension of fighting into southern Serbia.

"We're not going to allow it," said Clark, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe. "We're not going to permit it," he told a news conference at the Naples headquarters of NATO's southern command.

Belgrade has accused ethnic Albanians of carrying out two attacks in Serbia on Sunday, injuring one person.

Earlier this month, U.S. troops in the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force seized arms, ammunition and uniforms in eastern Kosovo in a bid to stop the Presevo guerrillas using the province as a base.

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