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Yugoslavia: Clashes Continue In Kosovo

Pristina, 4 May 1998 (RFE/RL) - Serbian police in the country's southern Kosovo province say they are continuing to battle some 200 ethnic Albanian militants in the village of Ponosevac, near the Albanian border. The village has been closed to reporters, but Reuters says gun and mortar fire could be heard in the area for a second straight day today.

Serbian police say armed fighters from the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) attacked Ponosevac yesterday. At least five Serbian policemen were reported wounded in the fighting.

In the regional capital Pristina, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), which advocates independence for the province by non-violent means, said the fighting indicates Belgrade is trying to clear Kosovo's border areas of ethnic Albanians. LDK Vice President Naim Jerlju warned that unless the international community moves to stop the fighting, he said there is a very real possibility the conflict will spread.

NATO Secretary General Javier Solana said in Madrid that the alliance continues to follow the situation closely, but has made no decision on deploying troops to the area, as requested by Albania.