PRISTINA, Yugoslavia — Kosovo's ethnic Albanians pleaded Wednesday for NATO intervention to stop what they called a Serbian campaign of forced expulsions from their independence-seeking province. An additional 2,000 villagers poured across the border into Albania to escape the Serbian onslaught.
Serbian police and paramilitary units shelled at least five villages in western Kosovo, setting houses ablaze and sending more residents fleeing into neighboring Albania, according to ethnic Albanian sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Serbian authorities have sealed off the area of the conflict, making it impossible to independently assess the situation. Dozens are believed dead since Serbs stepped up their campaign to wipe out the pro-independence Kosovo Liberation Army last week. At least 80 people were killed in a similar crackdown in March; in all this year, clashes have killed more than 200 people.
International monitors near the border said houses could be seen in flames in the besieged village of Junik. The pro-Albanian Kosovo Information Center said the fighting was spreading east of Djakovica, one of the hot spots for the last several days.