Panic in Zagreb as rockets strike again
WAR IN CROATIA: Briton wounded as policeman killed in capital n Contact Group to meet in London n Knin feels abandoned
Thursday 04 May 1995
Six Serb rockets crashed into Zagreb yesterday killing one person and wounding 50, including one Briton, four hours before a ceasefire brokered by the United Nations between the Croatian government and secessionist Serbs came into effect.
The Orkan rockets, fired, for the second day running, from a Serb-held area 25 miles south-west of Zagreb, caused panic and a general alert in the Croatian capital. One policeman was killed when a bomblet filled with shrapnel fell from a tree and exploded as he tried to defuse another of the lethal devices scattered from a warhead that landed close to the children's hospital.
Among those hurt was Mark Bolden, a 27-year-old Briton, rehearsing with the Croatian national ballet company, when part of a missile crashed through the roof. He was taken to hospital with abdominal injuries caused by shrapnel and underwent surgery last night.
The explosions sent residents scurrying for cover and shattered dozens of car windows. UN military officials said the warheads, which explode in the air and scatter 280 canisters, each armed with 300 bomblets, are designed to wound people, not buildings.
"I had just walked past when an explosion knocked me to the ground," said Maria Baric, a blonde woman standing on the steps of the Ethnographic Museum shortly after the attack. "I stood up, but fell down again from the shock. My hair was full of dust and stones, but I'm alive, thank God. I feel born again."
The streets around were filled with cars double-parked or pulled roughly on to the pavement to allow fire-engines and police access, their windows shattered and tyres flattened by the blast. "I'm not afraid, but I'm very angry," Ms Baric said.
The attack was also condemned by the US Ambassador, Peter Galbraith, as "barbaric". Rocketing the city during the lunch-break "was intended with one sole, single purpose: to kill as many people as possible", Mr Galbraith said, visiting injured in Zagreb children's hospital.
President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia warned of retaliation if Zagreb was attacked again. "If such a criminal attack is conducted only once again, Croatia will undertake most decisive steps," he said on national television, trumpeting this week's offensive as "a victory of extraordinary importance".
Yasushi Akashi, the UN envoy, announced a cessation of hostilities, accompanied by an effective Serb surrender of western Slavonia, starting at 4pm local time. Under the agreement, Serb civilians and soldiers - bearing personal side arms only - who wish to leave western Slavonia will be escorted to Serb-held northern Bosnia by the UN. The Serb troops who lost the towns of Pakrac and Okucani, as well as control of an 18-mile stretch of the Zagreb-to-Belgrade motorway, are due to begin their exodus tomorrow. The UN will police their departure, and its refugee agency is considering how best to help the thousands of people displaced - probably for good - from their homes.
Leading article, page 16
- 1 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 4 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Germanwings crash: 'Andreas Lubitz planned to marry pregnant girlfriend', claims German report
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...
£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...