Nato believes French pilots killed by Serbs
Saturday 21 October 1995
The bizarre "kidnapping" story told by Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader, to explain the disappearance of two French pilots shot down over Bosnia at the end of August and captured by rebel Serbs, is almost certainly a sign that the two men are dead, according to Nato sources.
Captain Frederic Chiffot and Lieutenant Jose Souvignet were last seen ejecting from their Mirage 2000 on 30 August as it plunged flaming to the ground close to Mr Karadzic's headquarters at Pale, during Nato air strikes against the Serbs.
Photographs of the two, apparently with leg wounds but alive and in captivity, appeared recently in the magazine Paris Match; but President Slobodan Milosevic, the ultimate Serb leader, told the French Foreign Minister, Herve de Charette, this week that he had no news of the pilots.
As the two met in Belgrade, Mr Karadzic said in Banja Luka that the pilots had been seized from hospital by an unknown group. "What we know so far is that they have been kidnapped by somebody, and I have given the strongest order for an investigation into what happened," Mr Karadzic said.
The prime suspect for the kind of blackmail opportunity offered by the capture of two Nato airmen - ''help us politically or we will kill your pilots'' - is Mr Karadzic. French officials have remained extremely tight- lipped about the affair.
"Most people I think, including a lot of the senior French people, actually believe they are dead," one Nato source said. "They believe they were killed by the Serbs, whether deliberately or in an unplanned way. The belief is that they died fairly early on."
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for two indivi...
£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...
£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...