Serbia offensive: The Key Events

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The Independent Online
Monday, March 22:

US special envoy Richard Holbrooke arrives in Belgrade on a last-ditch bid to convince Milosevic to accept the accord.

Tuesday, March 23:

Am - Serb parliament rejects NATO demands to send peacekeeping troops into Kosovo.

Noon - Holbrooke ends his mission, saying Milosevic has refused to agree to a plan for autonomy for Kosovo, secured by Nato troops.

8pm: Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov calls off US visit in mid- flight to Washington.

10pm: Government in Belgrade announces state of emergency.

11pm: Nato Secretary-General Javier Solana announces military action: "We must stop an authoritarian regime oppressing its people."

Wednesday, March 24:

11.51am: Eight US B52 bombers laden with cruise missiles fly out of RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

6.50pm: At least five German Tornado fighter jets leave their base in Piacenza, northern Italy, bound for unspecified targets. The first time Germany has deployed Luftwaffe in hostile action for 54 years. Dozens of warplanes leave Nato air base at Aviano, Italy.

7.15pm: US President Bill Clinton, speaking from the White House, announces air strikes under way: "Only firmness now can prevent greater catastrophe later."

8.01pm: First impacts - four "huge" reported explosions near Kosovo's capital, Pristina.

All timings in GMT

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