Yugoslavs say 9 dead as NATO rockets hit passenger train
April 12, 1999
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- Nine people were killed aboard a passenger train and another 16 were wounded when a NATO jet attacked a rail bridge in southern Serbia on Monday, Yugoslavia's army said.
Yugoslavia's military press center said the plane fired two missiles in the attack, which occurred near Grdelicka, about 320 kilometers (200 miles) south of Belgrade.
The train was bound for Thessaloniki, Greece, from Belgrade, Yugoslav Foreign Ministry spokesman Nebojsa Vujovic told CNN. Greek journalists on board the train were among those killed and wounded, he said.
Vujovic called the attack "a great tragedy, great crime against humanity in broad daylight."
A NATO statement acknowledged the attack on the bridge, and said it could not exclude the possibility of casualties despite taking ¨extraordinary¨ measures to avoid collateral damage.
The Yugoslav army press center said the train had stopped after a missile hit the bridge, cutting electric power. They said a second missile hit two cars, setting them on fire and knocking them into a ravine.
Serbian authorities carried reporters to the scene of the train crash, where rescuers were still searching for bodies among the wreckage Monday.
The incident occurred on the 20th day of air attacks over Yugoslavia by NATO countries. The alliance hopes to force Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to agree to a peace agreement in the strife-torn Serbian province of Kosovo.
Several bridges have been targets of NATO attacks as allied planners seek to interrupt the supply lines feeding the Yugoslav army in Kosovo. NATO accuses those troops of conducting a campaign against ethnic Albanian civilians.
NATO's foreign ministers vowed Monday to press on with the air campaign against Yugoslavia, expressing confidence that the bombardment was taking its toll on Yugoslavia's armed forces.
"Milosevic is losing, and he knows he is losing," NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana said. "NATO is united. You have justice and right on our side, and we will prevail."
Allied officials said Monday that attacks on targets around Yugoslavia were being conducted around the clock. NATO warplanes struck Yugoslav army forces in Kosovo, a Serbian province where those forces continued to battle the ethnic Albanian rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
NATO says the attacks will end only when Yugoslavia accepts a cease-fire agreement for Kosovo that will be overseen by an international peackeeping force. Yugoslav officials have compared that provision to an occupation of a sovereign country.
A year of ethnic strife, combined with a reported Serb offensive against Kosovar Albanians, has pushed hundreds of thousands of refugees into Yugoslavia's Balkan neighbors.Correspondents Brent Sadler and Alessio Vinci in Belgrade contributed to this report.
NATO vows to prevail in Yugoslavia
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.