NATO bombing of Albanian refugees near Đakovica

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NATO bombing of Albanian refugees near Đakovica
Part of the Kosovo War
Location near Đakovica, Kosovo, FR Yugoslavia (modern Gjakova)
Target Unknown
Date 14 April 1999
13:30 hrs (CET)
Executed by NATO
Casualties 73 killed
36 injured

The Bombing of Albanian refugees near Đakovica occurred on 14 April 1999 during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, when NATO planes responding to Serb attacks on ethnic Albanians[1] accidentally bombed refugees on a twelve-mile stretch of road between the towns of Đakovica and Dečani in western Kosovo. 73 Kosovo Albanian civilians were killed.[2][3][4]

NATO response[edit]

NATO and the United States initially claimed that the target was exclusively a military convoy and that Yugoslav forces may have been responsible for any attacks on civilians, stating "after the convoy was hit, military people got out and attacked civilians." However, two days later, NATO acknowledged that its aircraft had bombed civilian vehicles by mistake. Reporters from the American media went to the scene that same day and interviewed survivors and saw damaged farm tractors, burned bodies identified as refugees, bomb craters and shrapnel. Initially, NATO said its aircraft had targeted military vehicles, then reported that an American F-16 pilot had fired on what he thought to be military trucks. NATO expressed "deep regret." Tanjug reported that three Serbian policemen were also killed in the attack.[5]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "CRISIS IN THE BALKANS: THE ADMISSION; NATO Admits the Mistaken Bombing of Civilians". New York Times. 16 April 1999. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Bacevich & Cohen (2001), p. 15
  3. ^ "NATO strives to end split over Libya command". al Jazeera. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Julie Hyland (14 February 2000). "Human Rights Watch says NATO killed over 500 civilians in air war against Yugoslavia". World Socialist Website. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Crisis in Kosovo". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 

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