BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- The Yugoslavian government sent more tanks and troops to Serbia's southern Kosovo province Tuesday in an effort to put an end to violent clashes between authorities and the region's ethnic Albanians, who have been demanding greater autonomy.
One ethnic Albanian was killed and 10 others wounded in clashes with riot police in Titova Mitrovica, north of the provincial capital of Pristina, officials said. Five policemen were wounded by stones thrown by the demonstrators, they said.
Since clashes between police and ethnic Albanians began Jan. 24, at least 27 ethnic Albanians have been killed and more than 110 wounded. More than 85 members of Yugoslav security forces have been wounded in the violence.
Ethnic Albanian students in Pristina, 190 miles south of Belgrade, announced they would continue to boycott university classes while demanding the resignation of the province's pro-Serbian leaders, Serbian journalists reported.
The students have given Kosovo authorities one week to either open a dialogue with opposition groups or meet the students' demands, which include the termination of emergency measures, the organization of free elections with a multi-party system and the release of political prisoners.
The students appealed for ethnic Albanians to refrain from violent street demonstrations, saying the Yugoslavian authorities and Serbian police would use the violence as an excuse to persecute protesters.
Tanks and armored personnel carriers patrolled the streets of Titova Mitrovica and Podujevo, north of Pristina, and Yugoslav Air Force jets and helicopters flew low over Pristina and other Kosovo towns in an apparent effort to intimidate ethnic Albanians.
About 1.7 million ethnic Albanians live in Kosovo province, compared with 200,000 Serbs. While Serbs are a minority in Kosovo province, about 8.5 million live in all of Yugoslavia, making them the largest group in the multi-ethnic society of 23 million.
A Serbian committee calling itself 'Truth about Kosovo' said in Pristina Tuesday that Serbs in the province were 'virtually under siege and facing civil war.'
The committee urged the Yugoslavian national leadership to move from Belgrade to Pristina to 'wage war for defense of the country' or to hand over its authority to the Serbian state leadership.
In Belgrade and in Vojvodina, the capital of Serbia's northern Vojvodina province, hundreds of Serbs enlisted as 'volunteers' to take up arms and travel to Kosovo to defend Serbs there, Serbian news media said. Belgrade's Studio B Radio Station broadcast telephone numbers where 'volunteers' can contact a committee for the defense of Kosovo.
The nation's eight-man collective presidency met in an emergency session in Belgrade Tuesday morning following widespread demonstrations in Kosovo Monday, when at least 50,000 ethnic Albanians marched in the streets demanding more democracy.
In its statement, the Yugoslav collective head of state referred to a 'serious deterioration' of the situation in Kosovo and asked police forces to prevent disrespect of emergency measures, imposed one year ago, banning public gatherings. The presidency ordered 'certain engagement of military units in Kosovo aimed at protecting the constitutional order and preventing violence.'
The presidency urged officials throughout Yugoslavia's six republics and two provinces to prevent the situation in Kosovo from igniting ethnic strife in other areas of the multi-national country.
Ethnic Albanians staged demonstrations all over Kosovo Tuesday as children boycotted primary and secondary school classes. Many businesses and factories also remained closed.
In Urosevac, 30 miles south of Pristina, riot police and demonstrators exchanged gunfire during clashes. Police threw tear gas grenades to disperse the protesters. Kosovo officials said three policemen and an unspecified number of ethnic Albanians were injured.
In Kosovo Polje, the predominantly Serbian suburb of Pristina, about 10,000 Serbs gathered in a protest meeting to demand that Kosovo authorities arrest the organizers of the ethnic Albanian demonstrations.
A Serbian Committee for Self-Defense in Kosovo Polje urged Serbs to stay in their homes and not let their children go to school. The committee accused the Yugoslavian leadership of being unable to control the situation and warned that Serbs would move from Kosovo in mass to resettle elsewhere in Serbia.