British Troops Pledge to Be 'Robust' with Kosovo Rioters

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Byline: MATTHEW HICKLEY

BRITISH peacekeeping troops arrived in Kosovo yesterday with promises of a ' robust response' to the ethnic cleansing spreading across the province.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion the Royal Gloucester, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment were in an upbeat mood as they flew out from RAF bases.

An advance party arrived on Thursday night and British troop levels are set to top 1,000 over the weekend Nato allies followed suit yesterday, promising to send more reinforcements for the 18,000-strong peacekeeping force to try to stop the violence threatening to re-ignite civil war in the Balkans.

At least 31 people have been killed and 500 wounded in three days of clashes - the worst since Nato forces took over the province five years ago.

The latest crisis erupted on Wednesday when ethnic Albanians blamed Serbs for the drownings of two children and a spate of revenge attacks.

Nato commanders warned that attacks by majority ethnic Albanians, who number 2million, were fast turning into a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Serb minority of 100,000. …