NATO bombing of Albanian refugees near Đakovica
|NATO bombing of Albanian refugees near Đakovica|
|Part of Kosovo War|
|Location||near Đakovica, Kosovo, FR Yugoslavia
|Date||14 April 1999
13:30 hrs (CET)
The Bombing of Albanian refugees near Đakovica occurred on 14 April 1999 during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, when NATO planes repeatedly bombed ethnic Albanian refugee movements over a twelve-mile stretch of road between the towns of Đakovica and Dečani in western Kosovo, killing 73 Kosovo Albanian civilians.
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 observed shattered farm tractors, burned bodies identified as refugees, bomb craters and shrapnel. Over the next few days, NATO insisted that its aircraft had targeted military vehicles, before finally admitting that the pilot of an American F-16 mistakenly fired on what he believed to be military trucks, and expressed "deep regret." Later, on 19 April, NATO modified its account of a single pilot's error, declaring that about a dozen planes had been involved in numerous attacks on the two convoys, dropping a total of nine bombs. Widespread allegations of the use of cluster bombs were denied by the United States. Tanjug reported that three Serbian policemen were also killed in the attack.
- Bacevich & Cohen (2001), p. 15
- "NATO strives to end split over Libya command". al Jazeera. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- 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.
- "The Crisis in Kosovo". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- Bacevich & Cohen, Andrew J., Elliot A. (2001). War Over Kosovo: Politics and Strategy in a Global Age. Columbia University Press. Retrieved 13 March 2013.