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50 Ethnic Albanians Arrested in Southern Yugoslavia Unrest

June 03, 1989|From Reuters

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia — More than 50 ethnic Albanians were jailed for up to 60 days after this week's unrest in the southern Yugoslav province of Kosovo, the official Tanjug news agency said Friday.

One foreign student at Kosovo's Pristina University said he had seen police seize at least 10 students in Wednesday's unrest. He said he and other students, counting their numbers later, concluded that at least 50 more had been detained.

"Police in riot gear stormed through the dormitory, kicking down doors and firing tear gas canisters through the hallways," he said. "Some students were dragged out of their rooms."

Security in Kosovo was increased after police shot dead an ethnic Albanian on Tuesday in the town of Podujevo, and hundreds of students demonstrated in a revival of protests that resulted in the deaths of 24 people in March.

The Albanians were protesting curbs on their political autonomy imposed by Serbia, the biggest of Yugoslavia's six republics.

Police were stationed at crossroads leading into Pristina on Friday, and armored vehicles were parked on the outskirts.

A police official said the hunt was still on for 12 to 15 Albanians who engaged police Tuesday in a gun battle near Podujevo. An ethnic Albanian police commander was shot dead in Podujevo in the March unrest.

"We suspect this group was involved in the March events in Podujevo," the official said.

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