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Serbo Journal

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NATO ended bombing Serbia 7 years ago

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro, June 9 (UPI) -- Seven years ago NATO ended a 78-day bombardment of Serbia-Montenegro that had forced the Yugoslav army to withdraw from the province of Kosovo.

In 1999, generals of the Yugoslav army and NATO signed an agreement on the withdrawal of the military and security forces from southern Serbia's Kosovo province.

Nevertheless, Serbia's strongman Slobodan Milosevic declared "victory over NATO aggressors," adding "Peace has won."

In March, Milosevic died of heart failure in a detention cell of the U.N. tribunal in The Hague where he stood trial on genocide and crimes against humanity charges in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1991-95.

In March 1999, NATO began air attacks on Serbia-Montenegro from warships in the Adriatic Sea and warplanes flown from air bases in Italy. The attacks were aimed at stopping Milosevic's forces from carrying out an "ethnic cleansing" campaign against ethnic-Albanian separatists.

Under a U.N. resolution, NATO ground troops entered Kosovo on June 12, 1999. Kosovo, formally part of Serbia, has been under U.N. administration and NATO protection since 1999. Serbs and ethnic-Albanians meeting to decide who will govern Kosovo once U.N. and NATO personnel leave.

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