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Macedonia: Ethnic Albanians Clash With Government Forces

Skopje, 13 March 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Macedonian government forces battled ethnic Albanian militants in fresh clashes today along Macedonia's border with Kosovo. The fighting broke out when police tried to enter two villages held by militants. No casualties were reported. In Macedonia's capital Skopje, thousands of ethnic Albanians demonstrated for peace -- and more rights. The march was organized by the Democratic Party of Albanians, a member of the governing coalition. In southern Serbia, Yugoslav troops are preparing to enter a part of the buffer zone along the boundary of internationally-controlled Kosovo. NATO agreed to allow Yugoslav forces into the southernmost part of the zone to help cut off ethnic Albanian rebels in southern Serbia from those operating in northern Macedonia.