NATO-led peacekeepers in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo said Saturday that they had fought and apprehended five suspected ethnic Albanian guerrillas and detained 48 others crossing the border from Macedonia.
Officials from the Kosovo Force, or KFOR, said one man was wounded in the gun battle Friday before he and his four comrades were captured. Arms and ammunition were seized from the group, they said.
The 48 detainees, suspected members of the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army, were captured in a separate action Friday and Saturday, KFOR said. They are suspected of taking part in the insurgency roiling Macedonia.
Those men were unarmed but were carrying communications equipment, money and NLA identification, the peacekeepers said.
KFOR stepped up its surveillance along the border after the government in Macedonia complained that many of the insurgents there had come from ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo, which is under U.N. administration.
The NLA says it is fighting for more rights for Macedonia's ethnic Albanian minority, which makes up at least a quarter of the population. Ethnic Macedonians say the guerrillas want to split the country.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization voted last week to deploy troops to Macedonia to collect arms from the rebels in a bid to preserve a fragile cease-fire and implement a peace accord.