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World - Europe

NATO unleashes heaviest strikes yet on Yugoslavia


power plant tramline
Yugoslav television said NATO had damaged a power plant near Belgrade, top, and a tram line in the city

related videoRELATED VIDEO
CNN's Walter Rodgers said about 60 percent of Serbia was without electricity because of the air strikes.
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CNN's John Raedler, in Brussels, reports on the 59th day of bombing (May 21)
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CNN's Martin Savidge reports a new flood of refugees is streaming across the Albanian border (May 21)
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InteractiveIMAGE GALLERY
A cracked window to a war

To the corners of the world: The flight of Kosovo's refugees
 ALSO:
NATO mulls building up peacekeeping force in Macedonia

Clark says Pentagon should give thought to Kosovo invasion

Kosovar refugees head across U.S.

 THE DELUGE OF REFUGEES:
Where are they going?
 MESSAGE BOARD:
Crisis in Kosovo
 MAPS:
NATO officials describe the air campaign
 IN-DEPTH SPECIAL:
NATO at 50

Strike on Yugoslavia
 

May 22, 1999
Web posted at: 1:28 p.m. EDT (1728 GMT)


In this story:

NATO confirms KLA outpost hit by mistake

Refugee flow increases

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) -- Overnight air raids into Yugoslavia on Friday and Saturday were the heaviest yet as attack aircraft capitalized on improving weather conditions, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said.

"We took maximum advantage of the opening caused by better weather," Shea said.

NATO military spokesman Col. Konrad Freytag said that 245 out of 684 sorties were strikes, including 90 aimed at suppressing air defenses.

Several of the attacks, said Freytag, targeted Yugoslavia's power production facilities. In Belgrade, CNN's Walter Rodgers said about 60 percent of Serbia was without electricity because of the air strikes.

Serbian media reported that four missiles struck the power plant in Kolubara, some 30 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of Belgrade, crippling it for weeks to come. At least 13 people were reportedly injured.

Other targets hit included dozens of Serb tanks and a residence of Yugoslav President.

NATO confirms KLA outpost hit by mistake

Shea also confirmed Saturday that NATO had bombed a Yugoslav army post taken over by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) more than a month earlier.

International monitors said at least one KLA guerrilla was killed in the Friday attack, and at least 15 others were wounded. The post was located in Kosare, near the northern Albanian border town Tropoja.

"We did strike that border command post," said NATO spokesman Jamie Shea. "It was until very recently in the hands of the Yugoslav army, but it appears that it was then subsequently taken over by the (KLA)."

The KLA used the post to as a staging area for sending supplies to its forces inside Kosovo.

Shea said he could not confirm any casualties.

Shea said that a prison struck Friday in Istok had served as a "major (Serb) staging post since last October." Yugoslav officials said 19 people, including inmates and guards, were killed in the attack.

Serb authorities said the prison held mainly KLA sympathizers.

Refugee flow increases

NATO began bombing Yugoslavia on March 24 to force Milosevic to withdraw military and paramilitary forces from Kosovo, allow hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees to return to their homes and accept an international peace-keeping force with NATO at its core in Kosovo to protect the refugees.

Milosevic has refused to comply until the bombing ends, and NATO says it will not stop the bombing until Milosevic complies.

Yugoslavia blames NATO's airstrikes for the mass exodus of Kosovars from the Serbian province. NATO says that Milosevic's forces are engaging in a systematic ethnic cleaning operation, removing ethnic Albanians from their homes and in some cases using them as "human shields" against NATO's airstrikes.

refugees
Refugees in Albania on Friday said Serb forces ordered them out of their homes  

Thousands of refugees crossed from Kosovo into neighboring Albania and Macedonia on Friday and Saturday, after a week-long lull. Efforts to relocate refugees in camps too close to the Albania-Kosovo border were under way, Shea said, as well as a continued evacuation operation aimed at getting as many refugees as possible out of Macedonia and into third countries.

Refugees crossing the border are telling stories of being forced at gunpoint from their homes, Shea said, and being forced to walk to the border from points miles away.

Shea also said that a United Nations fact-finding team was in Kosovo, where they had been denied access to a number of villages by Serb officials. But they did manage to visit one village, which they found "completely deserted" with "signs of looting and hasty departures, he said.

Correspondent Brent Sadler and Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty contributed to this report.


RELATED STORIES:
NATO points to Yugoslav dissent, downplays reports of its own
May 21, 1999
NATO pounds fuel, ammunition facilities in Yugoslavia
May 21, 1999
NATO pounds Belgrade for second straight day
May 20, 1999
NATO bomb reportedly damages hospital, ambassadors' homes
May 20, 1999
Survivors describe the death of a village
May 19, 1999
Red Cross hopes to re-establish presence in Kosovo
May 19, 1999
Serb officials say Yugoslavia 'ready to cut a deal'
May 18, 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:
  • World Relief
  • USA for UNHCR
  • 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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