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Kosovo: NATO Chiefs Respond To Reinforcement Requests

Brussels, 25 February 2000 (RFE/RL) - NATO's top policy-making body is set today to have an emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss recent violence in Kosovo's divided northern city of Mitrovica. The North Atlantic Council will study a request from NATO's supreme commander in Europe to increase NATO-led KFOR troops already in the city to stem violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians. At least 10 people have died in recent clashes between the two groups.

General Wesley Clark asked yesterday for an extra 2,000 troops to reinforce the 2,500 already there. He said the peacekeepers face more tasks with the approach of summer in the tense region. France has already said it is willing to send around 700 more troops.

Registration for ethnic Albanians wanting to return to their homes in the Serb-dominated part of the city is to begin today. UN officials are to help ethnic Albanians return to three apartment buildings in the Serbian section during the coming week. The Serbs are due today to hold a protest against the move.