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NATO Says Serb Troops Building Up on Kosovo Border

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said on Monday that the military alliance was monitoring a Yugoslav troop build-up in ethnic Albanian areas of southern Serbia and would not tolerate fresh conflict.

''There is clearly rising tension in the southern part of Serbia and large numbers of additional Yugoslav troops have moved into the area,'' Robertson told a news conference after a meeting with the Western European Union in Brussels.

Robertson was apparently referring to a security zone inside Serbia proper, in particular the Bujanovac-Presevo-Medveda area bordering the southeastern edge of the province of Kosovo where recent local reports have warned of mounting fear and violence.

Ethnic Albanians say they are being driven out of the area while Serb authorities say they face Albanian terrorism. The confrontation has been partly obscured in the West by the focus on violence in the divided north Kosovo city of Mitrovica.

''I would warn anybody who seeks to be provocative in that part of the world, on whatever side of the divide they may be, that again we will not tolerate action being taken,'' Robertson said.

''Clearly there are flashpoints in Kosovo and the surrounding areas. We monitor them on a daily basis and we take what robust and contingency action is required,'' he added.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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