- Title: YUGOSLAVIA: NATO STEPS UP PATROLS ON MACEDONIA-KOSOVO BORDER.
- Date: 5th March 2001
- Summary: NEAR DEBELDE, MACEDONIA-KOSOVO BORDER, YUGOSLAVIA (MARCH 5, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. LV: BORDER AREA 0.05 2. LV: MACEDONIAN POSITIONS, MACEDONIA OBSERVATION POINT 0.09 3. GV/MV/CU: KFOR SOLDIERS AT THE BORDER, WATCHING THE BORDER (5 SHOTS) 0.39 4. GV: VARIOUS OF KFOR HEAVY MILITARY VEHICLES ARRIVING AT THE BORDER (6 SHOTS) 1.27 5. CU: (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) SERGEANT BRYAN THOMAS, KFOR SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "Well, after the actions of yesterday on the other side of the border we want to increase our presence here to let the Macedonian people know that we are going to, in the border area, considerably watch the border on this side. As of yesterday we had about two platoons strength of soldiers here and today we added a platoon of Bradleys which is about four Bradley fighting vehicles and maybe twenty to thirty fighting soldiers." 1.49 6. LV/GV: KFOR HELICOPTERS HOVERING OVER THE AREA (2 SHOTS) 2.03 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 20th March 2001 12:00
- Location: LOCATION NEAR DEBELDE, NEAR THE MACEDONIA-KOSOVO BORDER, YUGOSLAVIA
- Country: Yugoslavia
- Reuters ID: LVA98MM5EJK0CCB706552VTAQR9V
- Story Text: After calls from Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski
to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Oganisation) Secretary-General
George Robertson, NATO said it was stepping-up patrols on the
Kosovo side of the border between Yugoslavia and Macedonia.
Heavy firing broke out on Monday between Macedonian
security forces and ethnic Albanian guerrillas occupying a
village of Tanusevci inside Macedonia, according to a Reuters
Five U.S. armoured combat vehicles, two armoured
medical vehicles and nine all-terrain Humvee jeeps arrived in
Debelde on Monday morning (March 5), and two U.S. Apache
helicopters were flying overhead observing the area.
U.S. soldiers deployed across the border in Kosovo in the
village of Debelde as part of the NATO-led peacekeeping force
KFOR escorted a group of journalists to a point on a hill
where they were able to overlook the Macedonian village of
Tanusevci, from where ethnic Albanian fighters had started
attacking Macedonian forces a week ago.
The reporters saw about a dozen armed men presumed to be
ethnic Albanians taking positions on a rock near Tanusevci,
and then saw firing begin. As the U.S. soldiers escorted them
away, they heard heavy firing from both sides.
Macedonian generals held talks overnight with members of
KFOR to plan how to clear the gunmen from Tanusevci after
three Macedonian soldiers were killed there on Sunday.
And on Monday, the armed men who have engaged Macedonian
security forces around an ethnic Albanian-populated village in
Macedonia were seen leaving, U.S. peacekeepers in Kosovo said.
NATO is worried that the gunmen, emboldened by the success
of the armed struggle in Kosovo, might extend it into
Macedonia, a fragile ex-Yugoslav republic that escaped recent
KFOR spokesman Bryan Thomas explained NATO's reinforcement
at the border by saying: "Well, after the actions of yesterday
on the other side of the border we want to increase our
presence here to let the Macedonian people know that we are
going to, in the border area, considerably watch the border on
Macedonia, a Slav-dominated country with a large ethnic
Albanian minority, appealed for NATO's help over the emergence
of the guerrillas about two weeks ago, saying they threatened
its fragile demographic balance.
And on Sunday, Macedonia asked for an urgent meeting of
the U.N. Security Council to approve a five-km (three-mile)
buffer zone inside Kosovo on the border with Macedonia in
which KFOR would strictly control any movement of people and
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