Letter: UK Serbs in fear

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Sir: Whatever view your readers have formed on the rights and wrongs of the Nato action against Yugoslavia, may I bring to their attention the anguish in which thousands of people in this country live whilst the bombs are falling?

Approximately 40,000 people of Serbian origin live in this country, many of whom are married to "ordinary" British citizens such as myself. Since the Nato operation started I have had less than twelve hours' sleep. My wife's immediate family lives in Belgrade, others in Uzice and Nis, names which feature in reports on the bombing raids.

Hours are spent trying to telephone but the connections to Yugoslavia are almost non-existent. After two days my sister-in-law managed to reach us to say that they are safe but that a cruise missile had destroyed a telecommunications centre 200 yards from their flat. (Would

the designers stake their lives on their accuracy?)

Now we wait for the next call, the hours filled with triumphant news reports of yet another successful mission or "unconfirmed" stories of atrocities to stir the nation's passions and reassure those who dare doubt. And still we wait. A plane is reported missing. If it is RAF will the nation's anger be vented on British Serbs, whipped up by a media intent on justifying this crusade?

In a war in which not a single shot will be heard in this country and possibly not a single British casualty, would it be too much ask to tone down the jingoism?