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Montenegro Deports Kosovo Refugees

September 14, 1998|From Associated Press

DRELJE, Yugoslavia — The Yugoslav republic of Montenegro deported thousands of Kosovo refugees to Albania on Sunday, saying it could not provide for them even though they are citizens of Yugoslavia.

The 3,200 refugees, who are of Albanian descent but Yugoslav citizens, had been uprooted by fighting in the province of Kosovo and were camped in Montenegro.

Montenegro and Serbia are semiautonomous republics that make up Yugoslavia. Kosovo, a province of Serbia, has been torn for the last six months by fighting between ethnic Albanian separatists and Serbian security forces.

The expelled refugees, part of a group of 40,000 refugees that Serbian police dispersed from a makeshift camp in Kosovo, arrived Friday at the Montenegrin border town of Plav, 40 miles northeast of Montenegro's capital, Podgorica.

After police denied them entry, the refugees camped for two days and nights under open skies, in chilly mountain weather, with only a few hundred blankets and meager food supplies provided by local relief officials.

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