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World - Europe

U.N. delegation heading to Yugoslavia

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InteractiveIMAGE GALLERY
A cracked window to a war

To the corners of the world: The flight of Kosovo's refugees
 THE DELUGE OF REFUGEES:
Where are they going?
 MESSAGE BOARD:
China tomorrow

Crisis in Kosovo
 MAPS:
NATO officials describe the air campaign
 IN-DEPTH SPECIAL:
NATO at 50

Strike on Yugoslavia
 

NATO carries out rare daytime bombing

May 16, 1999
Web posted at: 5:58 a.m. EDT (0958 GMT)


In this story:

Daytime raids blast roads, bridges

More questions about civilian deaths

Macedonia receives military aid

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- As NATO intensifies its bombing runs on Yugoslavia, a U.N. delegation is due to arrive in Belgrade Sunday for a humanitarian visit.

The humanitarian officials, who plan a 10-day tour of Serbia, including parts of Kosovo, will be the first U.N. representatives to visit Yugoslavia since NATO began airstrikes almost two months ago.

U.N. relief coordinator Sergio Vierira de Mello will head the group of officials from the High Commissioner for Refugees and the Children's Emergency Fund -- both U.N. agencies -- as well as the World Health Organization.

Vierira de Mello said the delegation has been assured it can move freely in Yugoslavia.

Daytime raids blast roads, bridges

Meanwhile, air raid sirens went off in Belgrade and other Yugoslavian cities Saturday around 10 p.m. local time (4 p.m. EDT), Serb television reported, as residents prepared for another evening of what have become routine nighttime attacks. There were reports of explosions in the Belgrade suburb of Batajnica, the site of a military air field previously hit by NATO bombs, Serb media said.

Earlier Saturday, NATO forces carried out their heaviest daytime attacks since bombing began March 24, according to Serb TV. Most alliance raids have taken place at night.

Bridges and highways were among the primary targets, as well as the central industrial town of Cacak, Serb TV reported. It said the attack began about noon local time (6 a.m. EDT).

Kosovo suffered from the worst day of bombings yet, with 90 missiles landing by 5 p.m. local time (11 a.m. EDT), according to Tanjug, the state-controlled news agency.

One of the targets was the southern town of Urosevac, about 20 miles (30 km) from the Macedonian border, Tanjug said. No injuries were reported.

Two bridges across the Toplica River north of Kosovo and a portion of the highway linking Belgrade and Nis also were hit, the Serb media reported.

Earlier Saturday, U.S. officials pledged heavier NATO assaults on Yugoslavia.

"We intend to intensify the air campaign to take it even more effectively to the forces on the ground," said Gen. Wesley Clark, NATO's top military commander.

More questions about civilian deaths

Korisa aftermath
NATO officials say they were targeting a military storage facility in Korisa  

During news briefings Saturday, NATO officials continued to answer questions regarding an airstrike that Yugoslav officials say killed 87 ethnic Albanians Thursday night in Korisa, a town in southern Kosovo.

Alliance officials said a military storage facility in Korisa was targeted and suggested that Yugoslav troops forced refugees there at the time of the bombings.

"We know there is a real threat of human shields all the way through Kosovo," Clark said at Rinas airport in Albania, where he visited the U.S. Army's Apache helicopter attack force.

Yugoslav officials, who said no military units were in the area, called the allegation "crazy," according to Serb media.

Macedonia receives military aid

Defense officials in Skopje said Saturday that military aid from Bulgaria has begun to arrive in Macedonia.

The country has had virtually no national defenses since it broke away from Yugoslavia. The deliveries mark the first time Macedonia has owned major military hardware since 1991.

The equipment includes 94 Soviet-built T-55A tanks and 108 howitzer cannons with 40 tons of ammunition.

Macedonia, an impoverished Balkan nation straining to support one-third of the 780,000 ethnic Albanians that have fled the fighting in Kosovo, recently received a pledge from the United States for $21 million in economic aid for the refugees.

In other developments:

  • Yugoslav forces blocked Montenegro's border with Albania on Saturday and seized up to 25 ethnic Albanian refugees trying to enter Montenegro, the republic's deputy prime minister said.

    bodies
    A Serb official called pictures of an alleged Serb massacre of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo a hoax by NATO supporters  

  • Albanian television reported Saturday that Serb forces had murdered 12 youths in the Kosovo village of Izbice as revenge for the killing of a Yugoslav soldier.

  • A Serb official called pictures of a reported Serb massacre of 127 ethnic Albanians a hoax. He claimed that pro-NATO forces dragged the bodies from separate morgues and staged the attack.

  • The U.N. Security Council issued a statement expressing "deep distress and concern" over the NATO bombing that killed three people in the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade a week ago. China, which with Russia abstained from the Saturday vote, had pushed for a stronger statement that condemned the attack.

    Correspondents Walter Rodgers, Tom Fenton and Brent Sadler contributed to this report.


    RELATED STORIES:
    Yugoslavia says village death toll tops 100
    May 14, 1999
    Rugova in Britain to promote return of Kosovo refugees
    May 14, 1999
    Hillary Clinton hears Kosovars' tales of tears
    May 14, 1999
    Clinton calls Chinese president with apology
    May 14, 1999
    Finnish leader to join Chernomyrdin on Belgrade visit
    May 14, 1999

    RELATED SITES:
    Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
      • Kosovo

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

    Kosovo:
      • Kosova Crisis Center
      • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

    Military:
      • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
      • 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


    Relief:
      • Doctors Without Borders
      • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
      • Doctors of the World
      • The IOM Migration Web
      • 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
      • The Jewish Agency for Israel
      • Mercy International


    Media:
      • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
      • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
      • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
      • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis


    Other:
      • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
      • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Tribune
      • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of P.R.China
      • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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