- Title: YUGOSLAVIA: SERBIAN FORCES MOVE AGAINST ETHNIC ALBANIAN INSURGENTS.
- Date: 30th June 1998
- Summary: BELACEVAC, KOSOVO, SERBIA, YUGOSLAVIA, JUNE 30, 1998 (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. LV: GENERAL VIEWS OF TOWN WITH HAZE HANGING OVER IT/ SMOKE RISING/ AUDIO OF ARTILLEY AND MACHINE GUN FIRE (10 SHOTS) 1.12 2. LV/GV: ONE OF OF OBILIC'S POWER STATIONS (2 SHOTS) 1.23 3. LV: GENERAL VIEW OF KOSOVO POLJE ("FIELD OF BLACKBIRDS") MONUMENT TO COMMEMORATE 1389 SERB-TURK BATTLE FOR KOSOVO (2 SHOTS) 1.33 4. LV: GENERAL VIEW OF PRISTINA 1.41 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 15th July 1998 13:00
- Location: BELACEVAC, KOSOVO, SERBIA, YUGOSLAVIA
- Country: Yugoslavia
- Reuters ID: LVAEX18L67PSJLAANQ5HW9WKT0TY
- Story Text: Serbian forces on Tuesday (June 30) pressed their offensive against ethnic Albanian insurgents occupying an open pit coal mine west of Kosovo's capital, Pristina.
Detonations could be seen and heard from the vicinity of the Belacevac open pit coal mine between 5 a.m.and 7 a.m.
local time but it was impossible to gain direct access because Serbian police and armed Serb civilians had blocked all local roads.
Small arms, heavy machine-gun fire and explosions could be heard from the vicinity of the Belacevac coal mine from dawn through to early afternoon.
Yellow fumes from two electric generating plants in Obilic, next to Belacevac and fuelled by the coal from its mine, hung over the area in the morning, restricting visibility.
Serbian police, Yugoslav army troops and armed Serb civilians moved against insurgents occupying Belacevac and the adjacent villages of Hade and Lismir early on Monday.
The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Kosovo's largest ethnic Albanian political party, reported that four people had been killed, including an eight year-old boy, and eight men were wounded in the fighting around Belacevac on Monday.
There was no independent confirmation of the report.
Life in Pristina carried on as normal despite the drama playing out a few miles to the west, but the city experienced a moment of fear on Tuesday when word spread that a bomb had exploded outside a police station.
There was no immediate sign on Tuesday that Serb security forces were mounting coordinated assaults against insurgents in other parts of Kosovo, or that a long-feared counter-offensive by Belgrade had started.
Kosovo Liberation Army units (KLA) took control of Belacevac and its mine last week and immediately mounted well-publicised daylight patrols within sight of Pristina.
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