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2 die as Serbs shell villages in Kosovo

SHARE 2 die as Serbs shell villages in Kosovo

Serb security forces battling separatist Kosovo Albanians shelled villages southwest of Pristina today, killing two people, ethnic Albanians reported.

The Kosovo Information Center said Pecan and two other villages 30 miles southwest of Pristina were bombarded. A dozen people were also wounded in the fighting, said the center, which is close to Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders.The shelling, plus Serb sniping attacks in the nearby village of Suva Reka, sparked an exodus of ethnic Albanians from the area, the center said. There was no independent confirmation of the report.

In the past three days, 12 people have reportedly been killed in fighting in the Serb province.

France and Britain have said they would introduce a resolution in the U.N. Security Council threatening new measures against the warring sides if they do not halt the violence. Moscow opposes using NATO military force in Kosovo.

Ethnic Albanians, who outnumber Serbs by a ratio of 9-to-1 in Kosovo, are seeking independence from Serbia, the dominant republic in Yugoslavia.

Hundreds of people have been killed since February, when Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic launched a crackdown on Albanian separatists who had been attacking Serb police and military facilities.