Market and hospital bombed, civilians slaughtered

NATO's war crimes

THE VICTIMS of the NATO cluster bomb attack on the Serbian city of Nis. Two of these pictures have not appeared in any British newspapers

LOOK AT the pictures on this page. They show the bodies of some of the 15 civilians massacred by NATO when it dropped cluster bombs on a packed marketplace in the Serbian city of Nis on Friday of last week.

The bombing took place just hours before NATO blasted the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. NATO bombed the market at midday-the busiest time of the day-when the market was packed with people doing their shopping. When Sarajevo market was shelled in August 1995 during the war in Bosnia all the Western leaders said Serbs were responsible and called it the one of the greatest war crimes ever committed. Isn't the slaughter of Serbian civilians in Nis marketplace just as much of a war crime?

The main picture shows the body of an old man who was selling eggs as he was hit with pieces of shrapnel from the cluster bombs. The bodies of nine people lay in pools of blood along the streets near the market. An elderly woman carrying carrots home from the market was hit in the head and her body dismembered by flying shrapnel. Another cluster bomb exploded near Nis's hospital, destroying the pathology unit and killing three people. A mile away a cluster bomb exploded in the middle of civilian houses. Three more people were killed, including 84 year old Gerasim Jovanic. Thirty houses were destroyed.

One resident of Nis said NATO planes are "showering our town with bombs randomly". At least 15 people were slaughtered and 60 other civilians seriously injured in the bombing. Labour's George Robertson recently boasted that Britain had destroyed its anti-personnel landmines, calling them "obscene weapons". Yet every cluster bomb dropped by NATO fragments into deadly particles and creates minefields which can maim or kill people for years to come. The town of Nis is still full of such unexploded cluster bomb fragments.

NATO at first tried to deny its bombs killed civilians and hit the hospital in Nis. They finally admitted that "a bomb went astray" and called it a "mistake". NATO spokesman James Shea even said, "I don't see anything which suggests this was a catastrophe." But UN High Commissioner Mary Robinson said that NATO's attacks on civilians means it could be investigated by the International War Crimes Tribunal.


"THE AIR campaign is working," said defence secretary George Robertson last week. Look at the evidence.

'Imagine your city destroyed'

"IT IS like a lousy war movie-dust, chemicals, flames all over the place. Imagine seeing buildings you grew up next to turned to dust. Seeing your city destroyed is so sad. We barely had the means for serious surgery before the aggression and now we have no means for serious surgery at all.

A few days ago NATO used special carbon dust and fibre bombs and shorted the electricity grid so that 80 percent of Serbia was without electricity the entire night and part of the next day. Can you imagine in Belgrade, a city of two million citizens, how many babies could not be taken care of during the night?

When the death tolls become public I am certain that generations to come will hide their face in shame. If all this does not induce drastic political changes I am through with surgery. I keep asking myself, why so much violence, hatred, destruction-is it so hard to be normal? If we were a species of animals I am sure animal protection groups would stand up against what is happening to us."