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|Friday, March 09, 2001, updated at 13:28(GMT+8)|
Ethnic Albanian Extremists Ambush Macedonian Vehicle,Killing PolicemanEthnic Albanian extremists ambushed a convoy of Macedonian vehicles Thursday in a border area with Kosovo, killing one Macedonian policeman, according to reports reaching here from Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.
The attack occurred on the outskirts of the village of Brest, a few kilometers away from the Kosovo border, when the convoy passed by carrying 30 people, most of them Macedonian police officers, police spokesman Stevo Pendarovski was quoted as saying.
He did not give further details.
Another source said subsequent shooting between the two sides lasted almost an hour but it was not clear whether there were any other casualties during the fighting.
Police have sent reinforcement to the area and managed to evacuate the convoy. The area has also been sealed off, the source said.
The crisis has been escalating in the Macedonian border area with Kosovo since a clash between Macedonian security forces and the ethnic Albanian extremists broke out last February.
Macedonia has a population of ethnic Albanians, who have been demanding that the government grant more rights to them. Balkan governments and NATO members fear that the conflict could lead to new turmoil in the region.
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