Cease-fire threatened by Kosovo violence
Web posted at: 10:59 a.m. EST (1559 GMT)
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- A Serb farmer reportedly died Saturday as fighting flared again in northern Kosovo, the troubled Serbian province.
The Serb-run Media Center said the 62-year-old man was killed by ethnic Albanian rebels in front of his house in the village of Obranca.
"His wife said the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) shot him from their courtyard," the center said. "Theirs was the only Serb house in the village of Obranca."
About two hours later, ethnic Albanian sources said, Serb forces launched an attack on the village.
"Serbian police in armored vehicles and armored personnel carriers headed towards the village, several miles west of Podujevo," said the League for a Democratic Kosovo. "They stopped at the entrance and began firing at the village and KLA positions."
Neither report could be independently confirmed.
The clashes marked the third day of violence in Kosovo, the worst threat yet to the October 12 cease-fire agreement that halted months of violence between Serbs and rebels seeking Kosovo's independence.
Hundreds of people have died or become homeless since the Serb crackdown on rebels began in February.
NATO, which is monitoring the current fighting, had threatened airstrikes against Serbia unless it withdrew most its forces from the embattled province.
On Friday, top U.S. diplomat William Walker met with Serb troops and KLA leaders, who told him their troops would not fire unless fired upon.
"I'm trying to see what the situation is, number one, and to see if there is anything we at (the diplomatic mission) can do to make the situation get better, less tense, less hostile," Walker said Friday. "I am here to see if we can convince both sides that this isn't a way to settle their differences."
Milosevic promotes loyalists
Meanwhile, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic appointed a new air force chief and promoted seven army generals who back his policies on Kosovo. The changes reportedly came during a late Friday meeting of the Supreme Defense Council.
Lt. Gen. Spasoje Smiljanic was appointed commander of the air force, according to the daily Politika in a front-page story. The position had been vacant since October, when the former chief was sacked.
Three of the seven generals promoted have been involved in the Yugoslav army's campaign in Kosovo.
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