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Yugoslavia: Soldier Dies After Clash With Rebels

Bujanovac, Yugoslavia; 27 January 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The Yugoslav army says a soldier died today of wounds inflicted yesterday when ethnic Albanian separatists opened fire on Yugoslav army positions in southern Serbia. The army said members of the guerilla group known as the Presevo, Medvedja, and Bujanovac Liberation Army (UCPMB) used snipers, heavy machine guns, mortars, and rocket grenades in the assault. It said the rebels seized arms, equipment, and food.

Under a 1999 agreement between NATO and Yugoslavia, Serbia may patrol the five kilometer-demilitarized zone between Kosovo and Serbia proper only with lightly-armed Serbian police.

Tension in the Presevo region has been high over the past few days. UCPMB fighters have clashed with both Serbian security forces and NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers in Kosovo.