War in the Balkans: Damage - After a month of bombing, how much of Serbia is `degraded'?

Click to follow
The Independent Online
WHO WILL pay for it all? When the Yugoslav war is over, who is going to foot the bill for the massive industrial destruction - including 36 factories and 19 oil refineries, gas facilities and power plants - which the Serbs list among the infrastructure attacked by Nato jets and missiles?

In Belgrade, the government says it is already compiling a list of destroyed factories, electrical and communications facilities it expects the Nato alliance to repair once the conflict is over. They include 32 road and rail bridges and 19 television stations and transmitters as well as widespread damage in civilian areas. Vuk Draskovic, the Deputy Prime Minister, estimated the cost at more than $70bn (pounds 45bn).

The Yugoslav army, television stations and the official Tanjug news agency put out regular daily accounts of Nato attacks on the country - usually leaving out any reference to military targets but always including damage to civilian property. Nato briefings highlight military targets, largely ignore civilian damage and regard major industrial targets as "dual-purpose" facilities which are of use to the military as well as civilians. Thus Nato claims that weapons were made at the heavily bombed Zastava car plant and the Sloboda home appliance factory at Cacak. Serbia says the attacks were a deliberate attempt to destroy the civilian infrastructure of the country and create mass unemployment. In some cases, factories, refineries and bridges have been attacked as many as seven times.

The Nato missile attack last week on the 24-storey building comprising commercial offices as well as three television stations and two political party headquarters in Belgrade has taken the jobs of 6,000 people. In Kragujevac, the factory raids are said to have cost 26,000 jobs among the local workforce. Six days after the Novi Sad city hall was hit, a bomb destroyed the central post office at Uzice. Hundreds of civilian homes have been badly damaged in Nato raids.

According to Yugoslav local authorities, recent - though largely unreported - attacks killed 10 Serb civilians at Djakovica in Kosovo, at Velika Dobrinje village (where a six-year-old girl, Arta Lugic, died) and at Doganovic in Kosovo where five brothers from the Kodza family, aged between three and 15, were reported killed by a Nato cluster bomb. A 17-year- old youth, Dalibor Tasic, was killed in a Nato bombardment of Soderca village near Vranje. The conductor of the Yugoslav train destroyed in a Nato attack on 12 April has also died, bringing the estimated death toll to 28.

Six of the 17 Serbs who died in the Nato bombing of the Serbian television headquarters in Belgrade last week have been named as Milovan Jankovic, 59, a studio mechanic, Jelica Munitlak, 28, a make-up artist, Dragan Tasic, 31, a technician, Slobodan Jontic, 44, a fitter, and two security guards, Dejan Markovic and Milan Joksimovic, both in their 40s.

The lowest Yugoslav estimate of civilian deaths is 500. No details of military casualties have been given.