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Macedonia: Political Leaders To Sign Peace Agreement On Monday

Ohrid, Macedonia; 9 August 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Leaders of Macedonian and ethnic Albanian political parties in Macedonia's government will sign a peace agreement Monday (13 August) in Skopje. European Union envoy Francois Leotard made the announcement yesterday amid a day of violence.

At least 10 Macedonian soldiers were killed when ethnic Albanian fighters ambushed a convoy of troops on the main highway linking Skopje to the northwestern city of Tetovo.

The killing of the soldiers sparked riots in Skopje and in Prilep, the hometown of most of the slain soldiers.

Protesters in Skopje set up barricades near parliament and shattered shop windows of businesses belonging to ethnic Albanians. Reports say at least 20 shops were damaged by the time the crowds dispersed after midnight.

About 100 Macedonians destroyed six ethnic Albanian shops and two houses in Prilep.

Macedonia's Security Council authorized "the most energetic offensive measures" to counter the threat to government forces.

There also were reports of fighting within Tetovo.