CEOL
Mortars fired at area near Kosovo

BELGRADE, May 25, 2000 -- (Reuters) Belgrade accused what it called ethnic Albanian terrorists of mounting a mortar attack on a Serb police checkpoint on Wednesday in the volatile southern part of Serbia, along the administrative border with Kosovo.

"Albanian terrorists of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) attacked at 12:15 p.m. (1015 GMT) today members of the Serbian Interior Ministry while performing their regular duties close to the village of Konculj, near Bujanovac," Serbian state television said.

The report said 60 millimeter mortars and automatic weapons were used in the attack, which came from the direction of the ethnic Albanian village of Dobrosin.

It said one mortar bomb fell in the yard of Nimani Rusdi, causing minor damage, but that there were no casualties.

The television said that just before the attack, U.S. Apache helicopters and drones flew over the region of Konculj on Yugoslav territory.

The report said Serb police in the Konculj area were attacked three times on Tuesday by ethnic Albanian "terrorists".

An armed group called the Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac Liberation Army, named after the three municipalities in the area, is said to be based in Dobrosin and believed to have been involved in several clashes with local Serb security forces.

The predominantly ethnic Albanian area east of Kosovo has seen an upsurge in violence since Yugoslav forces pulled out of Kosovo following last year's 11-week NATO bombing over Yugoslavia's repression of the province's ethnic Albanians.

Other Belgrade media have reported incidents in the area over the past few days.

The independent news agency Beta said two mortar grenades were fired by unidentified assailants late on Tuesday near a police checkpoint in Konculj in the five km (three mile) demilitarized zone along the Kosovo boundary.

The independent daily Blic said nine mortars were fired at the Serb police checkpoint in the same area on Saturday, also from the direction of Dobrosin.



Original article