West wants to know Milosevic's sources of international...

Balkans Digest

April 09, 1999

West wants to know Milosevic's sources of international finance

LONDON -- Western intelligence agencies have stepped up scrutiny of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's sources of international finance with a view to shutting them down, British officials said yesterday.

The officials said the agencies, cooperating with international police organization Interpol, also were looking at possible links of Milosevic and his close associates with a number of international crime and drug syndicates.

Airstrikes reportedly sever Yugoslav supply lines

WASHINGTON -- NATO's air campaign has effectively cut fuel and ammunition supply lines to 40,000 Yugoslav army troops and police fighting in Kosovo, allied officials said yesterday in providing the first details of damage to support their claim that the 16-day bombardment was taking a steep toll.

Yugoslavia's two main oil refineries had been knocked out of operation, and the main rail lines and roads leading into the besieged province had been destroyed or severely damaged, Pentagon officials said. Fuel shortages were reported throughout the country.

"We're continuing to see strong evidence of supply problems and fuel problems plaguing these Yugoslav forces in a number of different areas and among a number of different units," said Rear Adm. Thomas Wilson, the director of intelligence for the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

NATO bombing damage ties up traffic on Danube

BERLIN -- NATO's bombing of bridges along the Danube in Yugoslavia has left huge chunks of concrete in the river, jamming up freighter and barge traffic along the 1,750-mile artery that stretches from Germany through the Balkans to the Black Sea.

All along the Danube valley, shippers were scrambling to find alternative routes for cargo stuck on ships unable to reach their destinations now that the river has been severed at Novi Sad, Yugoslavia's second largest city.

Railways in Romania and Hungary are expected to sign an agreement granting each other preferential rates to get the trapped goods moving to western destinations. But transportation prices will still likely increase to $4 per ton from $2.

Perez de Cuellar criticizes NATO airstrike strategy

LIMA, Peru -- Former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar criticized the United States and European nations yesterday for a lack of foresight in their airstrikes on Yugoslavia.

Speaking on Peruvian radio, Perez de Cuellar, who led the United Nations from 1982 to 1991, said the situation has deteriorated because the allied forces waited too long before acting and did not commit the ground forces needed to prevent Serb attacks.

N. Ireland town offers to take in Kosovo refugees

BELFAST, N. Ireland -- Still scarred by the deadliest guerrilla bomb in Northern Ireland's history, Omagh yesterday offered a home to Kosovo refugees, joining a host of other cities and countries trying to ease their plight.

"The outside world responded very generously to Omagh's crisis. We reached out a hand for help and now we're reaching out a hand to help," said Omagh Councilor Patrick McDonnell, who thought up the idea.

The town's councilors agreed at a meeting late Wednesday they would help refugees fleeing the conflict in the Yugoslav province. Yesterday, they waited to see whether the Kosovo refugees would be transported out of the Balkans.

Food warmer causes fire in Kosovar refugee camp

KUKES, Albania -- Refugees using a food warmer touched off a blaze in a tent camp yesterday, destroying four tents along with the money and meager possessions of four ethnic Albanian families who fled Kosovo.

No one was injured in the fire, but it was another crushing blow to the families, whose tents were about a yard apart.

Italian firefighters put out the blaze in the camp, which has nearly 600 tents and a field clinic.

Pub Date: 4/09/99

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