BELGRADE, March 20, 2004. (RIA Novosti). After three days of inter-ethnic clashes followed by massive massacres of Serbs, the burning of their houses and Orthodox places of worship, the situation at present is regarded as relatively calm.

The results of the clashes of Albanians with Serbs and international peacekeeping forces are sad indeed. According to specified information, 28 people were killed, about 700 were wounded, 22 of the later are in a critical condition.

According to the local Orthodox Church eparchy, 25 Orthodox churches and monasteries have been burned and destroyed. Some of them were under UNESCO protection as monuments of medieval architecture of immense historical value. Over one hundred Serbian homes have been burned.

The peacekeepers try to prevent clashes between Albanians and Serbs in the entire area, guarding Serbian villages and blocking the attempts of crowds of Albanians to break through the cordons.

In a number of cases the peacekeepers act most resolutely. Commander of the NATO southern wing Admiral Gregory Johnson gave the peacekeepers a right to use force to protect their own lives and stop violence. The peacekeeping troops managed to prevent many attempts by Albanians to break through into Serbian villages. Reinforcements are arriving to support the international peacekeeping force - additional units from a number of NATO countries are airlifted to Kosovo.

Peace and stability in the Kosovo area will be restored, representatives of the peacekeepers assured. Johnson called the developments in Kosovo "ethnic purges," and not inter-ethnic clashes, is it was regarded before.

This should not go on, and the task of the peacekeepers is to stop the violence, which is why they stay in that area, the admiral said.

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