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Wednesday, March 24, 1999 Published at 23:43 GMT


Yugoslav Army condemns Nato strikes

The Yugoslav Army claims many people are volunteering to join-up

Serbian TV interrupted its programmes to carry an Army statement saying 20 installations were targeted in the first wave of Nato attacks, and air defence systems had not been damaged.

The statement by the Yugoslav Army General Staff said: "The Yugoslav Army General Staff informs the Yugoslav and the international public that Nato carried out an aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at 2000 (1900 GMT) tonight.

"The military forces of the North Atlantic Alliance, heeding the dictate and the interests of the international policeman - the United States - and for the benefit of the Shiptar [Albanian] separatists and terrorists, grossly violated the territory of the sovereign Yugoslavia and ruthlessly endangered the lives of its citizens.

"The anti-air defence combat systems which detected the aggressor's projectiles in a timely fashion and acted effectively have not been damaged and remain operational, ready for any further activity," the statement said.

'The end of international law'

"More than 20 installations were targeted in the first wave of the attack by the international aggressors and the attacks are still underway.

"The Yugoslav Army is undertaking all the measures of defence and protection.

"The operational readiness and the combat level are at the highest possible level, while the mood and the motivation of the soldiers and officers is exceptionally high.

"Volunteers are turning to the Yugoslav Army units in great numbers to defend the fatherland.

"The first explosions that occurred following the attack of the Nato pact signalled the end of the international law, suspended the UN Charter, and opened a new, sad page in international history."

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.



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