NATO: Strikes 'grinding down' Yugoslav military
|Pentagon images show the rail bridge before and after the NATO missile struck|
The attack killed at least 10 people aboard the train and injured another 16, Yugoslav authorities said.
The pilot fired from several miles away and was steering the missile from the cockpit of his plane when, "all of a sudden, at the very last instant, he caught a flash of movement," Clark said.At that point the pilot could not steer the bomb away from the train, he said. "It was locked, it was going to the target and it was an unfortunate incident we all regret," Clark said.
The pilot fired a second missile in an attempt to hit the opposite end of the bridge, Clark said. But by "an uncanny accident," the train had slid forward, moved across the bridge and ended up in the missile's path.
"In both cases there was an effort made to avoid collateral damage," Clark said. "We're sorry for it, because we are doing our absolute best to avoid collateral damage."
Clark showed reporters a videotape of the attack, in which the train darts into view on the bridge barely a second before the missile's impact.
Milisav Paic, a Yugoslav Foreign Ministry official in Belgrade, called Monday's deaths "a war crime done against innocent civilians."
NATO pilots have attacked bridges as part of the alliance's effort to disrupt supply lines to Yugoslav forces. The air campaign continued Tuesday, with allied commanders tripling the number of planes flying bombing missions over Yugoslavia.
Airstrikes concentrated on cutting off the flow of fuel to the Yugoslav army in Kosovo. Clark said the missions have damaged or destroyed about 70 percent of the country's petroleum storage capacity.
With fuel stocks depleted, commanders of the roughly 23 battalions in Kosovo are being told to avoid moving their troops, he said.
"He's taking fuel away from civilian consumption and trying to hoard it for military use," Clark said.
Clark said additional measures -- "diplomatic and otherwise" -- would be in place soon to further shrink the Yugoslav army's fuel supply.
During Tuesday's briefing at the Pentagon, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Wald said the skies were cooperating with NATO planes.
"The weather is improving, and we're flying around the clock more, and we have the ability to service all of Kosovo," said Wald. "So we're just taking the fight to the whole area."
Clark also said he would ask for hundreds of new planes from NATO nations, including about 300 from the United States. The new warplanes will bring the number of NATO aircraft in the Balkan campaign to nearly 1,000.
The allied air war against Yugoslavia is aimed at forcing Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to accept a peace agreement for Kosovo, a Serbian province.
"We are showing that the longer we go on, the stronger become our attacks and the weaker becomes Milosevic's war machine," British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said Tuesday.
Cook said Yugoslavia's petroleum supply is a "choke point" that NATO is attacking in order to hinder Serb-led Yugoslav troops and special police forces. The alliance says those forces have conducted a campaign against ethnic Albanian civilians in Kosovo.
Cook described that offensive as "a revival of fascism" that modern Europe could not tolerate.
"The Serb army now knows it has no real protection against our air attacks, and spends most of its time hiding and worrying," he said. "They know that with every passing day, the balance turns against them."
|An oil refinery in Pancevo goes up in flames|
Serb TV also reported attacks against:
Gen. Charles Guthrie, the British chief of staff, said the air campaign is taking a toll on Yugoslav army morale.
"Our attacks are having a noticeable and destructive effect, and units are becoming increasingly isolated," Guthrie said.
Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said Tuesday that he was not aware of any spy activity on the part of Yugoslavs in the NATO operation, although they are a "fairly standard aspect of warfare."
"But I am very much aware, as are all the pilots and all the operators, that the enemy is trying to its level best to hear what we're saying to glean information from it," said Bacon.
"We, on the other hand, are obviously working very hard to make that more difficult," said the Pentagon official.
Meanwhile, the alliance was still pursuing diplomacy in hopes of finding a way to end the crisis in Kosovo, which has left nearly a million people displaced.
The United States and Russia, trying to resolve their differences on the matter, announced general agreement on basic principles Tuesday. But they remained at odds on key issues, including an international peacekeeping force for Kosovo.
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said her three- hour meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov was "an honest discussion."
Tuesday's talks came one day after NATO ministers considered having Russian and other European troops join in enforcing a settlement in the province if Yugoslavia accepts peace terms.
Ivanov said Yugoslavia must approve any international peacekeeping force sent to Kosovo and he insisted airstrikes must stop before there could be a political settlement.
"The sooner NATO ceases airstrikes, the easier it will be to find a settlement," Ivanov said at a joint news conference after the talks in Oslo, Norway.
Albright said the two sides agreed, at least in principle, that there must be an end to repression, a pullout of Serb troops and police from Kosovo and a return of refugees to their homes.
NATO hits new targets as U.S. increases fire power
April 13, 1999
Yugoslav train hit during NATO strike; 10 dead
April 12, 1999
Refugees seek peace, security outside Balkans
April 12, 1999
On Orthodox Easter, religious leaders pray for peace, goodwill
April 11, 1999
Yeltsin warns of posslible world war over Kosovo
April 10, 1999
Refugee situation improves; U.S. says some used as shields
April 10, 1999
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
Kesovo and Metohija facts
Serbia Ministry of Information
Serbia Now! News
Kosova Crisis Center
Kosovo - from Albanian.com
NATO official site
BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis
Mercy International USA
Donations for Kosovo Refugees
International Rescue Committee
Mercy International USA
Doctors Without Borders
CARE: The Kosovo Crisis
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
International Committee of the Red Cross
Disaster Relief from DisasterRelief.org
Catholic Relief Services
ReliefWeb: Home page
Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
Institute for War and Peace Reporting
United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis
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