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Food, Unlike Violence, Scarce in Kosovo

By Associated Press / May 21, 1998



PRISTINA, YUGOSLAVIA

A Serb policeman was kidnapped from a bus and three other vehicles were riddled with bullets in the latest outbursts of violence in Serbia's separatist Kosovo province, Serb officials said yesterday.

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According to the Serb-run media center in Pristina, the provincial capital, the policeman was abducted by ethnic Albanian militants on Kosovo's main east-west artery. In the other incidents, two Serbian trucks were riddled with bullets after drivers were forced to stop by the militants. A bus was sprayed with machine gun fire when its driver refused to stop. The increasingly dangerous conditions on Kosovo roads have led to food shortages west of Pristina, where most of the fighting between Serbian police and ethnic Albanian militants has been concentrated. An estimated 40 percent of Kosovo is virtually controlled by the Kosovo Liberation Army, which is fighting for independence from Serbia.

In an attempt to ease tensions on the border with Kosovo, Albanian officials have called for a meeting with Yugoslav counterparts. The Yugoslav Army has reported cross-border gunfights with alleged arms smugglers and ethnic Albanian militants.