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World - Europe

Pentagon: Helicopters, troops heading to Albania

The charred remains of what Belgrade officials called the city's largest heating plant  
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April 4, 1999
Web posted at: 3:16 p.m. EDT (1916 GMT)

In this story:

Report: Rugova under house arrest

Clearer weather favors NATO

'Immense inconvenience' to troops


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon announced Sunday the U.S. will send 24 Apache helicopters and 2,000 soldiers to Albania to beef up NATO's operation against Serb targets.

Earlier, allied spokesmen said NATO airstrikes are cutting off vital supplies to the Yugoslav army in Kosovo, while Yugoslavia reported that a civilian heating plant had been hit in the latest round of strikes, killing a security guard.

As the NATO strikes resumed at targets near Belgrade early Sunday, the Yugoslav army in Kosovo was moving westward to attack remaining guerrilla forces of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army, said British Air Commodore David Wilby, NATO's military spokesman.

NATO strikes pounded military command centers, bridges, fuel supplies and air defense installations around Belgrade, Wilby said, with the aim of breaking supply lines to the troops in other parts of the country.

"Our air effort was concentrated around Belgrade, with attacks being conducted against major army and security forces in the city, including the headquarters of the Yugoslav First Army," Wilby said.

In London, Britain's Armed Forces Minister Doug Henderson said the bombings are beginning to take a toll on the Yugoslav army and Serbian special police, which NATO accuses of carrying out a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" against ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo.

Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's "forces are increasingly isolated in the field and running short of fuel and ammunition," Henderson said.

Report: Rugova under house arrest

Meanwhile, a NATO member reported that ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova is under house arrest in Kosovo, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said Sunday.

"He has no freedom of movement, but has to report to local police several times a day," Shea said.

Shea said pictures of Rugova meeting with Milosevic, broadcast Thursday on Serbian television, may date back two years, when Rugova signed an education agreement with the president.

Yugoslavia's state-run television has reported that Rugova called for an end to NATO airstrikes. But the NATO member said that Rugova's broadcasted comment was "a call for the cessation of violence, and it was altered in the transcription," Shea said.

"We ought to be able to have access to Mr. Rugova to find out the facts for ourselves," James Steinberg, U.S. deputy national security adviser, told CNN.

Clearer weather favors NATO

NATO attacks on Belgrade resumed Sunday when large explosions began to rock Belgrade about 4:35 a.m. (9:35 p.m., Saturday EST). CNN reporters saw a fireball and an orange glow which lit up the sky.

Bad weather over the region is beginning to lift, allowing NATO forces to unleash their "full weight" on Yugoslavia, British military officials said in a Sunday news conference.

"The weather in the operational area is at last improving, and we confidently expect the full weight of NATO's air power will be brought to bear in the next few days," said Air Marshal Sir John Day, Britain's deputy chief of staff.

Sunday's strikes destroyed what Belgrade said was the city's largest heating plant. City officials said the plant was used only to provide heat for more than one million people and is now completely out of commission.

The plant manager said a security guard was burned to death in the attack and three other workers were hospitalized.

NATO attacks destroyed a bridge in Novi Sad Saturday  

"All our workers are in deep shock," plant manager Predrag Vasic said. "We cannot believe that there are those who can attack this type of facility."

An oil refinery at Kraljevo near the city of Cacak in central Yugoslavia was also hit Sunday. Serbian TV reported that at least three people were injured by the attack in Kraljevo.

'Immense inconvenience' to troops

On Saturday, NATO attacks took out a second bridge in Novi Sad over the Danube River, one of Europe's most important waterways.

"We know that taking those bridges down is causing some inconvenience to citizens," Wilby said. "It is causing immense inconvenience to the units we are trying to stop resupply their forces in the heart of Kosovo with the ammunition, the fuel and (other) supplies to keep up their activities."

"Given another couple days, I think you will see a very real and marked input in the whole result of this conflict," Wilby said.

Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of NATO's founding. Shea said no one at NATO headquarters in Brussels expected to celebrate the anniversary under the circumstances.

"But then," he added, "this organization was not set up to deal with the happy situations in life."

Correspondents Patricia Kelly, Brent Sadler, John King, Alessio Vinci, Martin Savidge and Bill Delaney contributed to this report.

Britain: NATO unleashing 'full weight' on Yugoslavia
April 4, 1999
Kosovo's huddled masses wait for sanctuary
April 4, 1999
More blasts rock Belgrade
April 3, 1999
Kosovar says he survived burning of bodies
April 3, 1999
Montenegrin political parties agree to resist military takeover
April 3, 1999
Pentagon not reassured by Yugoslavs on captured troops
April 3, 1999

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from

  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

  • World Vision
  • CARE: The Kosovo Crisis
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page

  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
  • Prayers for Peace
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