May 19, 2001 |
Macedonian army artillery targeted northern hillside rebel positions, shattering an unofficial cease-fire. But the guns fell silent after six volleys, suggesting that the government was honoring a pledge to act with restraint. The shells were fired at the villages of Slupcane, Orizare and Vaksince in the Kumanovo region near the border with the Yugoslav region of Kosovo. Government forces have been fighting ethnic Albanian insurgents in the area since the beginning of this month.
May 13, 2001 |
Macedonia said it killed about 30 ethnic Albanian guerrillas Saturday in heavy bombardment of rebel-held villages and two nearby convoys, shattering a lull in fighting meant to give politicians a chance to resolve tensions. Mortar, machine-gun, rocket and tank fire rocked the village of Vaksince a day after the nation's leaders agreed to create a coalition government. Politicians haggled Saturday over key posts.
May 10, 2001 |
Macedonian troops pounded suspected ethnic Albanian rebel positions with artillery Wednesday and besieged part of the border with Kosovo amid fading hopes for a political settlement. The chances that parties representing the majority Slavs and minority Albanians would form a national unity government dimmed Tuesday when a key ethnic Albanian party demanded that the offensive end before talks begin.
May 8, 2001 |
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.
May 6, 2001 |
Macedonia's troops shelled positions of ethnic Albanian rebels while the president hurriedly examined political concessions to the Albanian minority aimed at averting civil war. A senior ethnic Albanian politician said there were unconfirmed reports that as many as 10 civilians had been killed in the latest upsurge in fighting.
May 4, 2001 |
Macedonian forces backed by helicopter gunships launched an offensive Thursday against ethnic Albanian rebels after two soldiers were killed and another was kidnapped in an ambush near the border with Yugoslavia. The rebels were holding as many as 2,000 villagers as "human shields" against government troops and had taken up positions in the upper floors of houses in villages near the city of Kumanovo, army spokesman Blagoja Markovski said.