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Woman, 95, Killed in Kosovo

May 19, 1998

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Serbian police exchanged fire today with ethnic Albanians seeking independence in the Kosovo province. A 95-year-old woman was killed, ethnic Albanian sources said.

The Kosovo Information Center said the clash occurred near Srbica, in the heart of the Drenica region where police began a clampdown on the separatists in March.

Since then, at least 150 people have died in unrest in Kosovo, a province in southern Serbia, the larger of the two republics in what is left of Yugoslavia. Some 90 percent of Kosovo’s population is ethnic Albanian.

Serbian sources in the province said a city official was shot and killed today by unknown assailants at the steps of his office in a village near Klina, 30 miles west of Pristina.

Naim Krasnici, the city’s registrar, was ``known for his loyalty to Serbia,″ said the Serb Media Center, which is close to Kosovo’s Serbian authorities.

The reports could not be independently confirmed.

Earlier, the Serb Media Center said that Yugoslav soldiers in Kosovo exchanged fire with gunmen across the border in neighboring Albania.

The Yugoslav army soldiers came under fire late Monday while investigating another border incident earlier that day in which one Albanian was wounded and another arrested as they tried to cross illegally into Kosovo, the Serb Media Center said.

Both incidents occurred near the village of Dragas, 50 miles southwest of Kosovo’s capital, Pristina.

Serb officials claim Albanians are bringing guns and other aid across the border for Kosovo separatists.

Serbia stripped Kosovo of its autonomy in 1989 and since has ruled Kosovo with a massive military and police presence.

Also late Monday, ethnic Albanian militants peppered a bus with machine-gun fire on a road north of Pec, a northwestern Kosovo town close to the border with Albania. None of the 40 passengers was hurt.

About 2,000 ethnic Albanians marched today through Pristina in what has become a daily peaceful protest in their quest for independence.

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