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A police car parks behind garbage containers blocking the street after some three to four hundred Macedonians rioted in the suburbs of the capital Skopje, August 10, 2001. Warnings that Macedonia is on the brink of civil war came from all sides on Friday as army helicopter gunships pounded an ethnic Albanian village, in retaliation for a deadly mine attack on a military convoy in which seven soldiers were killed. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski
A Macedonian woman who fled fighting around the northwestern town of Tetovo lights a candle in a church in the capital Skopje, August 10, 2001. The woman was mourning seven soldiers who were killed after they ran over a mine, for which Macedonia's defense ministry blamed ethnic Albanian rebels. (Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters)
Hospital workers unload the body of one of seven Macedonian soldiers killed after their vehicle apparently hit a mine planted by ethnic Albanian rebels near the capital, Skopje, August 10, 2001. The body would undergo an autopsy before burial. (MACEDONIA OUT) REUTERS/Darko Moraitov
The relatives of Erdovan Shabanovski, 21, a Roma Macedonian army soldier from the reserves, carry his coffin in the town of Prilep, southwest of the capital Skopje, August 10, 2001. The funeral of Shabanovski is one of ten funerals taking place in the central Macedonian town of Prilep. REUTERS/Oleg Popov
A group of Macedonian Roma women cry at the house of Erdovan Shabanovski, 21, a Macedonian army soldier from the reserves, in the town of Prilep, southwest of the capital Skopje, August 10, 2001. Shabanovski is one of 10 Macedonian soldiers killed by ethnic Albanian guerrillas in an ambush on the Skopje-Tetovo road two days ago. The funeral of Shabanovski is one of ten funerals taking place in the central Macedonian town of Prilep. REUTERS/Oleg Popov
Relatives of Erdovan Shabanovski, 21, a Roma Macedonian army soldier from the reserves, cry around his coffin in a house in the town of Prilep, southwest of the capital Skopje, August 10, 2001. Shabanovski is one of 10 Macedonian soldiers killed by ethnic Albanian guerrillas in an ambush on the Skopje-Tetovo road two days ago. The funeral of Shabanovski is one of ten funerals taking place in the central Macedonian town of Prilep. REUTERS/Oleg Popov
The mother of Sasho Kitanovski, a Macedonian army soldier from the reserve, cries over his coffin at the cemetery in the town of Prilep, some 150-km southwest from the capital Skopje August 10, 2001. Kitanovski is one of 10 Macedonian soldiers that were killed by ethnic Albanian guerrillas in an ambush on the road Skopje-Tetovo two days ago. REUTERS/Oleg Popov
Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov (R) welcomes U.S. special envoy to Macedonia James Pardew prior their meeting in Sofia August 10, 2001. Pardew arrived for a brief visit to Bulgaria to discuss the situation in neighboring Macedonia. REUTERS/Dimitar Dilkoff
Koshtunitsa Bitter About The Deaths of Macedonian Soldiers:
GLAS JAVNOSTI, Belgrade
Peace Under Threat
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia The President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Voislav Koshtunitsa has spoken out on the deaths of Macedonian soldiers, calling the act hardcore terrorism.
When seventeen soldiers, members of the armed forces of a sovereign country, lose their lives within only 48 hours, it is clear that were talking hardcore terrorism terrorism which doesnt even hide its true aims anymore, Mr. Koshtunitsa says in a written statement.
President also writes that it is obvious that regardless of the name this criminal organisation uses be it the ANA (The Albanian National Army), ONA (The National Liberation Army), OVK (The Kosovo Liberation Army) or OVPMB (The Liberation Army of Preshevo, Medvedja and Buyanovats) it is one and the same organisation and it threatens the already fragile peace in the region.
Mr. Koshtunitsa adds that this paramilitary isnt just dangerous for Macedonia, but also for Yugoslaviaand for Albania, as well because its true aim is the occupation of land and setting up of a mono-national, mono-religious and utterly undemocratic state where everything will be run by the organised crime bosses.
The international community must look the truth in the eye unless it wants to further encourage the terrorists, adds Mr. Koshtunitsa.
The president has also criticised the IC for its inaction and accused it of destabilizing the Balkan Peninsula.
Macedonians attack US embassy, five police reported hurt in new clashes.
SKOPJE, Aug 10 (AFP) -
Several hundred Macedonian protestors tried Friday to storm the US embassy in Skopje, and five policemen were reported injured by ethnic Albanian guerrillas in the north, stoking tensions here.
An AFP photographer at the scene said protestors threw stones at both the embassy and police, but had been prevented from entering the embassy by riot police, who later brought the demonstration under control.
The demonstration was the latest expression of Macedonian resentment towards the West, which the Skopje government has regularly accused of indirectly helping ethnic Albanian rebels of the National Liberation Army, who launched in insurgency in February, threatening Macedonia with civil war.
Earlier, the independent A1 television station, quoting police sources, said five Macedonian policemen had been injured by guerrillas in shooting near the northern Macedonian town of Radusa.
It said a large group of guerrillas had come into the country illegally from Vitina, in the neighbouring Serbian province of Kosovo.
A1 television gave no further details of the incident.
The events followed a day of uneasy calm after an intensification of violence early on Friday between guerrillas and Macedonian forces. Seven soldiers were also killed by a landmine on Friday.
Meanwhile, 10 Macedonian soldiers, killed Wednesday in the deadliest attack by the rebels thus far, were buried Friday in the southern town of Prilep in a ceremony attended by thousands of angry, grief-stricken mourners.
Earlier Friday, Western officials expressed concern that the new outbreak of violence in Macedonia would scupper the signature of an internationally brokered peace accord planned for Monday.
An outline agreement had been approved Wednesday at Ohrid by the parties represented in parliament, but since then the situation on the ground has rapidly deteriorated, throwing signature of the accord into doubt.
NATO, which would be responsible for disarming the NLA rebels under an eventual peace accord, earlier warned against seeking a military solution to the crisis and urged a return to a July 5 ceasefire.
The focus of concern has been the northwestern town of Tetovo, the country's main Albanian-populated city. Rebels control some of the suburbs around Tetovo and are trying to push into parts of the city.
The rebels say they are fighting for minority rights for ethnic Albanians, who make up to one third of the country of two million people.
Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva said in a letter to NATO Secretary General George Robertson and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Friday: "The patience and the threshold of tolerance of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia have been brought to their limit."
Three Disguised Attackers Killed a 12 Year Old Ethnic Albanian.
12 year old Tafilj Vejselov from Rashtani, a village near city of Veles was murdered last night in his family's front yard, by three people wearing uniforms. The attack occured around midnight, and the police has no information who shot (using automatic weapons) at the house of Fabir Vejselov, the father of the killed Tafilj.
Rashtani is a village predominantly inhabited by Macedonians, but two ethnic Albanian families also live there for a long time. The first is Fabir's, and the second belongs to Fabir's brother and wasn't targeted in the attack.
The night on the attack, two of the four Fabir's children were sleeping in the yard trying to ease the heat. The attackers, which according to eye witnesses were masked by black hoods, fired at the house, killing the little Tafilj on the spot, and wounding his kid brother in the leg, apparently by a ricocheted bullet from the house wall.
There public, through rumors, is offered two explanations on who performed this disgusting act. The Macedonian version is that is performed by the Albanian terrorists, with the sole intention to inflame the neighboring ethnic Albanian villages, so they rise to arms. The Albanian version is, as official DPA internet page claims, that the attackers were Macedonian paramilitaries
The Fabir family was preparing to move to the neighboring village of Slivnik, in which was yesterday buried Tafilj. Before the funeral took place, he expressed a wish to meet the Mayer of Veles, Ace Kocevski.
- I have expressed my condolences to the father of killed boy. We will discus about the present situation and the newest events with representatives from several villages, including Rashtani, Buzalkovo and Slivnik - stated Kocevski yesterday.
The identity of the Attackers is still unknown. Conflicting explanations circulate from different sources.
Some Macedonian sources claim that the attackers are Albanian terrorists who want to inflame the Albanians. According to Channel 5 TV news, some people claimed that the real reason is vendetta, over broken marriage engagement of Fabir's daughter. Albanian sources accuse Macedonian paramilitaries.
UNITED STATES OFFICE PRISTINA
Office of Public Affairs
Dragodan-Arberia, Nazim Hikmet 30, Pristina 38000
TEL: (038) 549 516 FAX: (038) 549 890
USOP Outlines U.S. Policy on Conflict in Macedonia
(Pristina, USOP August 10, 2001) -- We are very concerned that the media in Macedonia, Kosovo, and elsewhere in Europe are conveying false reports on U.S. support for the so-called National Liberation Army in Macedonia. Spreading misinformation makes it harder to restore a climate in which Macedonia's parties can implement the agreement initialed on August 8. In particular, we are concerned about patently false information reported in the London Sunday Times and Der Spiegel that has been repeated in local media without verification or substantiation. Irresponsible and inflammatory reports undermine the genuine efforts of the international community to support a peaceful solution.
The U.S. is committed to peace and stability in the Balkans. We have supported Macedonia over the last ten years and are committed to its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and further democratic development.
We call on all sides to respect the cease-fire agreement. We strongly condemn a pattern of deliberate cease-fire violations by ethnic Albanian armed groups. We expect these groups to come into full compliance with the terms of the cease-fire agreement. Violence impedes the achievement of political and social progress in the interest of all of Macedonia's people.
There can be no military solution. All parties need to respect the agreement reached at Ochrid.
President Bush's July 24 statement in Kosovo leaves no doubt; the U.S. stands against all who use or support violence against democracy and the rule of law. We have acted to block the flow of private funds from the U.S. to armed extremist groups.
U.S. troops in KFOR (Task Force Falcon) are heavily engaged in interdicting the flow of arms to the so-called NLA. Thousands of grenades and mortars, hundreds of landmines, and numerous weapons and ammunition rounds have been seized and destroyed. KFOR's intensive, continuous border patrol demonstrates our commitment to act against violent extremists in the region. U.S. soldiers have been wounded and injured during interdiction operations.
The U.S. -- with its EU, NATO, and OSCE partners -- is determined to stand behind Macedonia, as we have for ten years, supporting the development of democratic and market economic institutions and its aspirations for full integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. We maintain our unity and resolve to see peace and order restored to Macedonia.
We call on ethnic Albanian political leaders in Macedonia and Kosovo to support the resolution of the Macedonian conflict through political dialogue and publicly to call for respect of the cease-fire agreement and the full implementation of the peace agreement.
CREDIT -- Press may quote this statement as coming from Michael McClellan, U.S. Office Pristina Spokesman.