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An elderly woman leans on a walking stick while watching as people gather around a bonfire, a night before Christian Orthodox Christmas Eve on Saturday, Jan 5, 2002, in Skopje, Macedonia. Macedonian Orthodox believers celebrate Christmas by the Julian calendar. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Christian Orthodox pilgrims pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations January 5, 2002. Tensions were likely to escalate January 6, when Israel plans to prevent Palestinian President Yassar Arafat from attending Orthodox Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem. (Reinhard Krause/Reuters)
18 Wounded Macedonians And Serbs Brought To A Russian KFOR Hospital.
By Irina Gelevska
Prizren - Less than 20 hours ago, 18 wounded unconscious civilians were left in front of the gate of the Russian KFOR Military Hospital near Prizren. According the spokesman of the Russian Contigent, Dimitrij Karborcev, the civilians are Serbs and Macedonians, who suffered from gun wounds. Four of them died during emergency operations.
The identity of the wounded people is not known yet, because all of them are in very serious condition. According the doctors, some of them might not survive. The Macedonian Officials are not informed about this. There are speculations that the 18 wounded people are the missing Macedonian hostages captured in Macedonia's crisis regions and Serbs from Southern Serbia.
Traditional Cohabitation in Debar Continues.
Debar, January 5 (MIA) - At last evening's press conference, President of VMRO-DPMNE Committee of Debar community Gjorgji Ilievski emphasised that there hasn't been any pressure on Macedonians in Debar, adding that mutual life with Albanians has been traditionally good.
Ilievski informed that the VMRO-DPMNE Debar Committee submitted an initiative to the Community Council for building of a monument of Macedonian revolutionary Goce Delcev.
There is already an initiative for building of a monument of Skenderbeg in Debar. "We have nothing against this, and we think that in the interest of mutual life and tolerance in Debar, a Goce Delcev monument should exist", Ilievski emphasised.
Ilievski also expressed his disagreement with the request of the local power and Debar Mayor Imer Ologu for withdrawal of police points from the town, which, according to him, were necessary, having in mind the fact that Debar is a border town and because of the common organised groups of thieves that come from Albania.
Ilievski estimated the work of the local power in Debar and Centar Zupa as non-satisfying, while the cooperation of Debar Mayor with the Democratic Party of Albanians in Debar has been, according to him, "frozen" due to disagreements.
Helicopters Flew Over Skopje As The Crises Coordination Body Had Important Meeting.
By Irina Gelevska
Skopje - It has became a tradition that every time when the Government Coordination Body for Management of Crisis (CBMC) has an important meeting over the General Plan for Returning of the Police in the crisis regions, police helicopters to fly over the Macedonian capital Skopje. The spokesman of the Macedonian Police Vlado Shutarov said that the police helicopters are flying because there are good conditions for flights. Starting since this morning, a dozen police helicopters have been flying over Skopje making the people a little bit afraid and remaining them on the bad times of conflict when helicopter flights were something ordinary.
The police helicopters transported a Service team of the Electro Company of Macedonia, who were trying to repair the power system in the village of Radusha on Skopska Crna Gora Mountain. A few helicopters brought food to the villages which are cut of the civilization because of the heavy show. A helicopter assisted a rescue team for the vehicles which were buried under 2 meters of show on the road Veles-Shtip in Eastern Macedonia.
Six locals arrested for Paramythia blasts.
Six local youths were arrested in the northwestern town of Paramythia yesterday on suspicion of being behind two bomb explosions at local police and Church targets over the past three weeks. The young men, aged 18-23, were caught in the act of planting a makeshift bomb under a police patrol car. Some of them were carrying Molotov cocktails, according to initial reports. The six reportedly confessed to planting another two bombs on December 15 and New Year's Eve in the small town to the west of Ioannina in Epirus.
The first caused damage but no injuries to the Paramythia police station and patrol cars parked outside, while the second buckled the iron gate outside the local bishop's office. Dynamite was used in both cases. Initially, police had expressed fears that the attacks could be the work of local or Albanian gangs that smuggle guns, drugs and prostitutes through the area. There had also been speculation regarding Albanian irredentist groups.