War In The Balkans: Briefing: Day 42

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The Independent Online
n UNHCR said more than 83,000 were crammed into bursting refugee camps and 93,000 more were with families in Macedonia. Nato will set up new accommodation in Albania - already host to 400,000 refugees - for about 60,000 of those now in Macedonia.

n Italy said it would take 10,000 refugees from Macedonia. Italian air force planes will transport a hospital, eight kitchens and other facilities to Macedonia and return with refugees. Five thousand will stay at a former military base in Sicily. Increasing numbers of refugees have been washing up on Italy's southern coast, after paying Albanian gangs to transport them. In April 5,600 made the crossing.

The US Senate voted by 78 to 22 against giving Bill Clinton authority to use "all necessary force" in the campaign. The resolution was intended to give President Clinton the authority to use ground troops in Yugoslavia.

UNHCR said more than 675,000 had left Kosovo since air assaults began on 24 March.

A UN food relief agency based in Rome said a businesswoman, Amalia Lacroze, head of a cement company in Argentina, had donated $500,000 to help refugees after seeing television pictures of them. It was the largest private donation the agency had ever received.

France said it would increase its contribution to Nato's air forces bombing Yugoslavia by 25 per cent.

Britain said it would take up to 1,000 refugees a week, after Tony Blair had visited camps in Macedonia.

German ministers advocated sending up to 1,000 more soldiers to help refugees in Albania and Macedonia. The decision must be approved by parliament in a vote expected on Friday.

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