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Antenna: News in English, 99-04-13

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From: Antenna <> - email:


  • [01] NATO bombs hit a passenger train
  • [02] Albright-Ivanov
  • [03] New fighter-jets

  • [01] NATO bombs hit a passenger train

    NATO bombs hit a passenger train in southeastern Serbia Monday killing ten people and injuring sixteen others.

    The train, travelling southbound from Belgrade was initially bound for Skopje.

    Rescue workers at the scene 180 miles south of Belgrade said they spent most of the day pulling charred bodies from the wreckage.

    NATO said it did not deliberately target the train but acknowledged it may have hit it. Adding that, its initial target was a rail bridge considered an important military supply line. Nevertheless, incoming military reports indicated there was a train on or near the bridge at the time of the strike.

    General Wesley Clark said during a press conference on CNN that the pilot only saw movement on the bridge at the time he locked the bomb into the target but it was too late to change course.

    The trainmaster in town of Leskovac, near the scene of the accident told the state run Tanjug news agency that a missile hit the second coach of the train. Three other passenger cars caught fire and derailed as a result.

    Serb TV has reported that at least 14 people have been hospitalized adding there may be dead passengers in two of the completely wrecked cars.

    Yugoslav's railway director Svetolik Kastadinovic responded bitterly saying, "Another civilian target was hit, with the aim to destroy human lives, to spread panic and fear".

    Yugoslav officials have reported that up to 300 civilians have been killed and 3,000 injured since NATO started it's 3-week-old bombing campaign.

    [02] Albright-Ivanov

    S secretary of state Madeline Albright called her recent meeting with Russian Foreign minister Igor Ivanov an honest discussion but with no results.

    The two met in Norway over the weekend in an attempt to settle their differences over NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia.

    Ivanov called the dispute a 'cul-de-sac' adding that the sooner NATO ceases airstrikes the easier it will be to find a solution". Russia is adamant in its opposition to the NATO offensive.

    Ivanov and Albright did however pledge a continuing exchange between the US and Russia on the Kosovo conflict, which has caused a deep rift in their relationship.

    Albright stated that the two sides agreed, at least in principle, that there must be an end to the repression, a pullout of Serv troops and police from Kosovo and finally a return of displaced refugees to their homes and access for humanitarian organizations.

    Ivanov stressed they did not agree on a NATO-led peacekeeping force to be deployed in Kosovo after a settlement to protect the ethnic Albanian civilians. Adding, "Any form of international presence requires the agreement of the government of Yugoslavia.

    Milosevic has insisted all along that NATO troops could not be stationed on Serbian soil. NATO's overture to Russia to be included in the force was not enough to sway Moscow's opinion on the idea.

    Ivanov, however, did not close the door completely. ``What the force is", he said, "we should discuss in the future."

    Russia has suspended its ties with NATO to protest the bombing of the Serbs and has sent a ship to the Adriatic sea to keep tabs on NATO. Ordering the move, President Boris Yeltsin alleged that the United States and its allies ``want to take over Yugoslavia, make it their protectorate.''

    Tuesday, Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said Russia may send more ships into the Mediterranean and withdraw its peacekeeping force from Bosnia to emphasize opposition to the bombing.

    [03] New fighter-jets

    Greece is set to decide by the end of April on a multi-billion dollar contract to buy new fighter- jets for its airforce.

    Government sources said Tuesday that two American firms: Boeing Co., which makes the F-15E and Lockheed Martin which produces the F-16 are in the running for the contract. Also under consideration is France's Mirage 2000.

    Greece is planning to spend 24 billion dollars over the next five years on an arms modernization program.

    (c) Antenna 1999

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