Focus: War in Europe - Air campaign's death toll rises

A WEEK OF CONFLICT
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The Independent Online
SUNDAY 11 APRIL

The war grows fiercer, with more bombings, more deaths and more reports of Serb atrocities. Nato dispatches the British aircraft-carrier Invincible and 82 US warplanes; proof of its determination to carry on the fight. Australian aid worker, Steve Pratt, is paraded on Serb television, confessing to spying. Nato produce pictures of newly-turned earth at Pusto Selo, south-west of Pristina, which they say could be evidence of a mass grave.

MONDAY 12 APRIL

Nato jets blast a Yugoslav passenger train off a railway bridge in southern Serbia, killing at least 10 people. Nato spokesmen said they "regretted" civilian casualties on the train - part of which caught fire - but claimed that the railway track was "an important military supply line". The Yugoslav government calls it a "criminal attack". Reports speak of systematic rape of ethnic Albanian women by Serbian forces in Kosovo. Nato foreign ministers meet in Brussels.

TUESDAY 13 APRIL

Serbian forces occupy the village of Kamenica in northern Albania torching homes. Albanian border guards exchange fire with the Yugoslav troops, who later withdraw back into Kosovo. Nato condemns Yugoslavia for trying to spread the conflict. US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, meets Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, in Oslo, but they produce only a vague mutual pledge to go on talking in search for a solution to the crisis. Britain sends an extra 1,800 troops to Macedonia, doubling the number of frontline soldiers on the ground, which could provide a spearhead to an invasion of Kosovo.

WEDNESDAY 14 APRIL

An attack on two refugee convoys in the Kosovo kills at least 60 ethnic Albanian civilians. Yugoslavia accuses Nato of a "crime against humanity", saying allied jets attacked the convoys of tractors and cars, travelling under Serb "escort", between Prizren and Djakovica. Germany produces proposals to end the crisis which include a 24-hour cessation of Nato bombing. Nato, aid agencies and the Macedonian government prepare for another massive influx of refugees, amid signs that Slobodan Milosevic was allowing Albanian refugees trapped inside Kosovo to escape.

THURSDAY 15 APRIL

Nato admits firing on the refugee convoy in Kosovo, "deeply regretting" the incident, but stresses that it will not be deflected by this "one tragic accident". The refugee exodus begins to swell again as up to 30,000 homeless Kosovans head towards the Macedonian border. Macedonia denounces Western governments for breaking their promises to shelter refugees, warning that its economy was on the brink of collapse.

FRIDAY 16 APRIL

Nato intensifies its campaign again, and insisted it would not be "blown off course" by the accidental bombing of civilians. More than 12,000 ethnic Albanians pour over the borders into neighbouring Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro. Yugoslavia rejects a week-old Kosovo peace initiative by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and criticises the United Nations for failing to condemn "aggression" by Nato. The Defence Secretary, George Robertson, denies reports that he is not ruling out the use of ground forces in the crisis.

SATURDAY 17 APRIL

Some 5,000 Kosovo refugees arrive in Albania with thousands more being forced out by the Serbs. A Yugoslav army officer captured by the KLA is handed over to American forces as a prisoner of war and flown to the Albanian capital, Tirana. Wesley Clark, Nato's supreme commander for Europe, travels from Skopje, Macedonia, to Tirana for talks with government officials.

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