Macedonian troops battled ethnic Albanian rebels in northern villages and forced guerrillas to retreat across the border into Kosovo. The government said it had inflicted "serious losses."
The fighting was also prompting civilians to flee, with about 300 refugees, primarily from the Kumanovo area, crossing the border into Kosovo, a U.N. official said. Kumanovo has been the center of the latest violence. Other civilians huddled in basements.