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Issue 1644 1 May 1999
Planes target civilians
MILICA RAKOC, three years old, blasted to death in her bathroom
Television centre workers


"THIS WAR has already lasted longer than any political leader was talking about a month ago. They all got Milosevic wrong. The condition of Kosovo is worse, not better, than it was. Within Kosovo more Albanian civilians than Serb soldiers may have been killed by NATO bombs." That is not an opponent of the war in the Balkans, but Guardian columnist Hugo Young who has backed the war from the start.

No wonder more people are starting to question what this war is about. A makeup artist, technicians, secretaries and security guards were NATO's targets last week when one of its bombs pounded into the RTS television station in Belgrade. Clare Short declared the station "a legitimate target". Tony Blair said the attack was "entirely justified". But the bombing of the television station exposed NATO as a liar. NATO says it does not bomb "civilian targets".

Spokesman James Shea explicitly said NATO would not target journalists in a recent letter to Aidan White, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists. Shea wrote, "There is no policy to strike television and radio transmitters as such." Yet NATO's attack killed at least 11 civilians. CNN reporter Brent Sadler said it left "a scene of complete devastation". The bomb landed precisely where there were the most journalists, camera crews, editors and technicians. The BBC's John Simpson described seeing the foot of the makeup woman who put powder on his face, "sticking out at a strange angle from the heap of crumbled brick and plaster work that was all that was left of her room." "Stay tuned" were Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon's sick words after the bombing.

As we report on the front page, young children are dying under NATO's bombs. Three year old Milica Rakoc was sitting on her potty in the bathroom of the family home in the town of Batajnica when a NATO bomb struck, killing her instantly. Six year old Arta Lugic, her eight year old brothers Egzon and Neron and seven year old sister Arijeta lived in the Kosovan capital Pristina. Last Saturday NATO bombs struck there, killing Arta and seriously injuring her brothers and sister. These are the victims of NATO's bombing. It is time to stop this senseless, murderous war.

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