NATO planes thunder over Albania; Serb forces attack Kosovo villages

PADESH, Albania (AP) — NATO fighter jets thundered over the rugged mountains along the border with Yugoslavia’s Kosovo province on Monday in a rigidly choreographed show of force meant to pressure Yugoslav forces to end their attacks on ethnic Albanians in the province.
The United States and 12 other nations took part in the exercise over neighboring countries, which had planes skimming the rooftops of Tirana, the capital of Albania, and coming within 10 miles of the border with Kosovo.
The mock air raids involving 85 aircraft elated American pilots — but disappointed refugees from Kosovo in this town on the Kosovo border, who said much more was needed to keep Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic from driving them out of their villages.
Milosevic’s Serb-led forces hardly paused in their offensive against ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo, reportedly attacking four western villages with helicopter gunships, grenades and heavy shelling Monday.
Milosevic’s army and police have cracked down on dissent in Kosovo province, where ethnic Albanians outnumber Serbs by 9-to-1. More than 300 people have been killed since March and about 65,000 have been forced to leave their homes.
Western leaders want to halt the violence but do not support the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army, which is fighting for Kosovo’s independence.
Monday’s exercises played out over two of Yugoslavia’s neighbors, Albania and Macedonia, which gave permission for the demonstration. Staying at least 10 miles away from Yugoslav territory, the fighter jets and spy planes soared high above the forested mountains.