War in the Balkans: Briefing: Day 43

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The Independent Online
A French newsletter specialising in defence issues said a soldier from Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment was lost behind Yugoslav lines in Kosovo about 10 days ago. A British Ministry of Defence spokesman said it was aware of the report.

An aid convoy of the French-based charity Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) came under fire in Kosovo but no one was injured.

UNHCR said Macedonian authorities closed the main Blace border crossing with Yugoslavia and may have turned back refugees fleeing violence in Kosovo.

Polish troops are heading for Albania to help protect a Nato headquarters that is part of humanitarian operations for Kosovo.

France wants Nato to halt its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia if Belgrade begins withdrawing its troops from Kosovo and agrees to allow refugees to return.

Austrian border authorities yesterday turned back a group of 37 ethnic Albanians trying to enter the country illegally. They were sent back to Italy.

Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok said his country was prepared to admit more refugees fleeing Kosovo.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar will visit Moscow next week for talks about the conflict in Yugoslavia.