War in the Balkans: Propaganda Wars

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The Independent Online
Wednesday 14 April

15.53: Belgrade claims Nato missiles hit a 100-vehicle refugee convoy.

15.56: Officials in Pristina say there were two attacks. They report 64 people killed and 20 wounded at Meja and six killed at Zrze.

16.30: Nato plays down Serb claims. "We have no information about this," says a spokesman.

17.59: Jeff Rowand of the World Food Programme says refugees entering Albania report three aircraft dropped three bombs killing "many" people.

19.06: Nato confirms its aircraft had attacked Yugoslav military vehicles on a road where the convoy was attacked.

19.44: Nato spokesman Jamie Shea says: "Nobody should jump to any conclusions. Nato doesn't attack civilian targets."

20.05: Tony Blair says: "We cannot take at face value any claim made by Serb authorities. Anything they do they use for propaganda purposes."

20.53: Pentagon admits Nato may have struck the convoy.

Thursday 15 April

11.00: Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, says: "We understand that yesterday, on a country road, a number of people lost their lives which may have been during allied air attacks."

12.30: Nato admits that one of its planes mistakenly bombed a refugee convoy.

14.00: Nato gives full details of what it calls a"tragic accident". Jamie Shea says: "Sometimes one has to risk the lives of the few to save the lives of the many".