New move to halt fighting in Kosovo

ABOUT A hundred observers were on their way to Kosovo yesterday to shore up efforts to control fighting in the Serbian province between the authorities and rebel Albanians.

Their arrival will boost the Kosovo mission to 700 people. A total of 2,000 are expected to be in place by mid-January, said a spokesman for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which runs the operation.

Violence last week around Podujevo, in the north of the province, almost shattered a US-brokered truce established in October. Yesterday Nato said it remained "ready to intervene" if violence intensified and demanded that both sides respect the informal truce.

A spokesman for the Kosovo Liberation Army said the rebels would respect the ceasefire, "but we will defend ourselves with all means if necessary". (AP)

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