Serbian police advance against Kosovo rebels

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AP) — In some of the most intense fighting in months, Serb forces backed by tanks advanced Sunday on ethnic Albanian rebels, who resisted government efforts to clear key roads in rebellious Kosovo province.
The offensive — the most widespread and coordinated Serb operation since April — appeared aimed at clearing Kosovo Liberation Army fighters from three strategic highways: one westward from Pristina to Pec, another south to the town of Prizren and a third along the Albanian border in western Kosovo. The KLA is fighting for independence for Kosovo.
If successful, the operation would split the estimated one-third of the province under rebel control and block routes to their sanctuaries in neighboring Albania, from which the insurgents smuggle weapons.
Early Sunday, the fighting spilled across the Albanian border, with Yugoslav and Albanian officials reporting an exchange of fire.
There was no report of casualties and each side blamed the other for shooting first. The incident heightened fears that fighting could spread elsewhere in the volatile Balkan region.