War in the Balkans: Pristina: Serb-run bakeries starve the city's Albanians

Click to follow
A NEW form of apartheid is gripping the Kosovar capital Pristina with Serb-run bakeries reportedly keeping their loaves for Serbs and forcing hungry ethnic Albanians to wait outside for hours.

"Queues for food supplies in front of the state shops are longer and longer,"one resident of Pristina said.

City streets were clogged with military vehicles, with the city's Kicma tunnel sealed off and used as a massive parking lot, he said. Parking places in the town are taken up with police, paramilitary or military vehicles.

"The whole Kicma tunnel in Dardania suburb is full of vehicles, with nearby storehouses also used for vehicles, equipment or soldiers. All entrances to the tunnel are blocked with barricades put up by police and manned by them. Nobody can go through that tunnel."

The premises of state companies including the headquarters of the Ibar Lepenc hydroelectric plant, had been taken over by Serb forces, he said, but he could not confirm whether they were special police, paramilitary or military units.

All land and mobile telephone communications were down and he said Nato was still attacking targets around the city yesterday morning.

"Yesterday around Pristina heavy gunfire was heard, mostly in the daytime, especially after midday," he said. He had heard that Serbian forces had shelled villages in the Komoran Valley, 10 miles west of Pristina.

The Yugoslav news agency Tanjug reported a Nato air raid on Pristina shortly before 11am (1000 BST).

"Three strong detonations were heard on the south-east of Pristina, where the air-raid alert has been continuously on for more than three days," Tanjug quoted from its Pristina reporter.

The Yugoslav news agency said earlier that Nato planes had hit communications stations, bridges and a heating plant in overnight raids across Serbia but it gave no details of any casualties. Pristina has been the target of Nato attacks, especially since Monday.