Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

BALKANS out of the Mire

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

BALKANS out of the Mire

Article excerpt

Kosovo had to be transferred from Serb to international control, the previous U.S. administration said a couple of years ago, to stop the ethnic killings there -- and to keep the violence from spreading into neighboring Macedonia.

Yet, with NATO troops ostensibly in control, the problems have gotten worse.

Albanian radicals systematically murder Serbs. When a bomb killed 10 Serbs one day, the news was so routine that it was largely ignored in the international media.

Guerrillas aligned with the outlawed Kosovo Liberation Army conduct bloody raids into southern Serbia, hoping to make border cities with heavy Albanian populations part of Kosovo. Now the guerrillas are staging deadly incursions into Macedonia, where 25 percent of the population is ethnic Albanian.

There a gun battle last week between U.S. troops and guerrillas near the Macedonian border.

The raids are another step toward achieving the KLA's long-stated goal of creating a "Greater Albania" out of Kosovo, Albania, and parts of Serbia and Macedonia. …

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