Villagers cautiously returned to their homes early Wednesday, finding smoke curling from the ruins of two houses destroyed in clashes between Serb police and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
Meanwhile, six leading powers gathered in Germany to discuss ways of ending the violence in Serbia's separatist southern province. And thousands of ethnic Albanian women took to the streets of Kosovo's capital, Pristina, to protest the renewed fighting.One policeman died and three were seriously injured in Tuesday's clashes, police said. They said two ethnic Albanian "terrorists" were killed and one, a member of the main ethnic Albanian party, was arrested. But the party said the Albanian casualty toll was unknown.
Empty bullet shells littered Glodjane's lanes Wednesday, and the bullet-riddled hulks of two houses still smoldered.
Tdemsi Sefijaj, 37, watched the fighting from his house on a hill overlooking the village of 1,500. He said the fighting lasted for 10 hours before police left the village at 9 p.m. None was visible in the region Wednesday.
"There were about 100 policemen out in the field," Sefijaj said. He said three helicopters hovered overhead as the police entered the village, 30 miles west of Pristina.
Women, children and old people spent the night in surrounding fields and woods, hungry, villagers said.
Ilir Shacekrimaj, 18, said he ran away with his mother and spent the night in a nearby village. He returned to find his house with windows broken, littered with bullet shells, with a bloody scarf in one room and blood in the bath tub.
His mother did not return with him right away, and he said he has no idea where his brother is.
None of the villagers or local Albanian activists had seen any dead bodies. But they said many people were still unaccounted for, and feared that several had been arrested.
The fighting came as Secretary of State Madeline Albright sought support from Italy, France, Germany and Russia for stronger sanctions against Belgrade. Only Britain appears to fully support U.S. determination for an arms embargo against Yugoslavia and a freeze of Yugoslav assets abroad.
Tuesday's violence also coincided with the clearest signal yet from the Kosovo Albanians' leader, Ibrahim Rugova, that he was willing to enter talks with the Serbs on the troubled province's future, when he named 15 people to form a negotiating team.
For the past two weeks, the Albanians have refused to join talks without foreign mediation. They still want outsiders present, but apparently have yielded to foreign pressure to consider entering talks.