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World - Europe

NATO denies causing 'widespread' civilian damage

related videoRELATED VIDEO
CNN's Brent Sadler tours the devastation in Pristina (April 8)
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CNN's Brent Sadler is allowed into Pristina and describes 'a scene of devastation' in Kosovo's capital (April 7)
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InteractiveIMAGE GALLERY:
Burning flags and rock concerts:
Protesting the NATO strikes

Devastation of Kosovo capital

The Serbs and Kosovo
 ALSO
Russia presses on for diplomatic end to Kosovo crisis

U.S. may increase attack helicopters in Yugoslavia

U.N. refugees chief 'very, very worried' about Kosovars

Effort to free U.S. soldiers may fall short

 MESSAGE BOARD
Crisis in Kosovo
 MAPS
NATO officials describe attacks from day one through day fifteen
 

Bombing 'momentum building'

April 8, 1999
Web posted at: 12:26 p.m. EDT (1626 GMT)


In this story:

Russia: 'Threat to whole of Europe'

New refugee operation prepared

U.S. helicopters on call

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) -- NATO said Thursday that the effectiveness of its stepped up bombing campaign against Serb military targets in Yugoslavia was increasing, but denied that its missiles were responsible for "widespread" civilian damage.

NATO sent more than 100 planes on bombing missions in the early hours of Thursday, hitting dozens of targets, including an ammunition production facility and Serb armored vehicles, said Air Commodore David Wilby of Britain, NATO's military spokesman.

"Momentum (of the NATO bombing) is building with encouraging pace" and Serb forces are showing increasingly "defensive" postures, Wilby told a news conference at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels.

"I can absolutely assure you that while NATO has attacked military targets around Pristina ... NATO has certainly not caused the reported widespread damage which we believe has been orchestrated by Serbian forces," Wilby added.

"I'm sure that closer investigation will reveal the truth," he said.

CNN's Brent Sadler was taken to Pristina, the provincial capital of Kosovo, by Serb authorities and reported damage to a postal and telecommunications building and other civilian areas. The authorities said 10 civilians died in NATO attacks.

Serbian state television on Thursday reported explosions in the outskirts of Kraljevo, south of Belgrade, and said NATO attacks caused "big material damage, mostly to civilian houses."

Yugoslav media also said residential areas were hit when missiles landed on Cuprija, in the south of the country.

Russia: 'Threat to whole of Europe'

Sadler reported that the Serbian state media on Thursday announced the end of the Yugoslav armed forces' "anti-terrorist" campaign and the restoration of peace in Kosovo.

However, there was no independent confirmation as to whether the weapons fell silent in the Serb province.

About an hour before the Serbian broadcast, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana told CNN Thursday that Serb attacks on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo were continuing, despite the Yugoslav government's unilaterally declared cease-fire on Tuesday. He said NATO airstrikes would continue with determination.

But Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Thursday that unless the military action in Yugoslavia ends within the next few days, "it will be a threat to the whole of Europe."

Meanwhile, Cypriot envoy Spyros Kyprianou, flew to the Yugoslav capital Belgrade Thursday in an attempt to mediate the release of three U.S. soldiers held captive by the Yugoslav authorities.

New refugee operation prepared

NATO announced Thursday that it will deploy about 8,000 troops from 14 nations to Albania as part of a new operation to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees from Kosovo.

Operation Allied Harbor will provide "international support for the humanitarian effort in Albania," said Jamie Shea, NATO's civilian spokesman.

children
Serbian children spend another night in a bomb shelter  

A mobile headquarters will be set up to coordinate the operation, Shea said.

U.S. helicopters on call

Twenty-four U.S. Apache helicopters remained in Germany Thursday, ready for deployment to Albania for use in Kosovo.

NATO's top commander, Gen. Wesley Clark, will determine when to call the Apaches into combat, said U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen.

The Pentagon said that NATO commanders may opt to use as many as 48 Apache helicopters in the Kosovo campaign, The helicopters are often referred to as "tank killers".

The Pentagon said Thursday that a slow-flying unmanned drone aircraft had been lost over Yugoslavia.


RELATED STORIES:
NATO strikes target Serb ground forces, complicate GI release efforts
April 8, 1999
NATO reports 'breakthrough' against Serb forces
April 7, 1999
NATO defies Yugoslav cease-fire with more bombing
April 7, 1999
NATO rejects cease-fire, resumes bombing Yugoslavia
April 6, 1999
NATO rejects Yugoslav unilateral cease-fire offer
April 6, 1999
Airstrikes hit home in a small Serbian town
April 6, 1999
Support for ground troops swells in Congress
April 4, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

Yugoslavia:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News


Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • 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

Relief:
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Unicef USA
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • World Vision
  • CARE: The Kosovo Crisis
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Disaster Relief from DisasterRelief.org
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page


Media:
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

Other:
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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