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Thursday, April 8, 1999 Published at 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK


Nato's mission impossible - Serb TV

Adolf Hitler: As depicted on Serb TV

Serb TV on Thursday stepped up its anti-Nato message by drawing graphic parallels between the bombing of Yugoslavia and Nazi war crimes.

Kosovo: Special Report
The TV flashed up stylised portraits of western leaders and Adolf Hitler, each with the accompanying slogan "Wanted" in English.

It also showed a Nato symbol resembling a Nazi swastika, with the slogan "Nato aggressor!"

A later insert just before an English-language newscast showed shots of the New York skyline and the Lincoln Memorial clouding over, accompanied by the slogan "Mission Impossible" and the theme tune of the 1970s TV series of the same name.

The broadcast then showed Clinton's face metamorphosing into Hitler's.

Nato attacks

The Serb media reported numerous Nato attacks on civilian infrastructure targets in Yugoslavia overnight and derided Western reports about a continuing exodus of Albanian refugees from Kosovo.

The Yugoslav state news agency, Tanjug, said the reports that thousands of Kosovo Albanians had disappeared from a refugee camp in Macedonia illustrated the "pure propaganda" that Western media were concocting about events in Kosovo.


[ image: UK Prime Minister Tony Blair]
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
Serb radio said that on the contrary, columns of Albanians were now returning to Kosovo from the border.

Among widespread Nato air strikes overnight, Tanjug said at least three people died in an air raid on the Tornik ski centre on Mt Zlatibor, western Serbia.

In the town of Sremska Mitrovica, about 60 km north west of Belgrade, more than 200 facilities were badly damaged in the Nato raids, Tanjug reported, citing local civil defence officials.

Three missiles hit the north western area of the town, damaging houses, business premises and institutions.

"The blasts sent windows, doors and roof tiles flying," Tanjug said, adding that the Dijana footwear factory, one of the country's leading footwear manufacturers, also sustained extensive damage.


[ image: US President Bill Clinton]
US President Bill Clinton
The centre of Cuprija, a town about 120 km southeast of Belgrade, was destroyed by Nato missiles, Tanjug said.

The electricity authority building, sports hall and a department store were badly damaged when six missiles struck the town, but no casualties were admitted to hospital, Tanjug said.

Fuel depots were hit in missile strikes 10 km east of Sombor, in the northern province of Vojvodina, and on Bogutovac, southern Serbia, Tanjug reported.

The chemical plant in Lucani, central Serbia, was also hit for the third time, Tanjug said. Three missiles landed in the nearby village of Milovancevic, badly damaging 20 houses.

Belgrade city government chief Spasoje Krunic said Nato missiles had hit a judiciary building in the capital, and cited it as proof that Nato was not selecting military targets.

"The aggressors can no longer use the pretext that they are striking at military targets. A hospital and apartment buildings are in the immediate vicinity of the hit building," said Mr Krunic, quoted by Tanjug.

Firefighters quickly localised the fire, and there were no casualties.


[ image: Nato Secretary-General Javier Solana]
Nato Secretary-General Javier Solana
In a report from New York, Tanjug accused the US media of peddling Nato propaganda about the plight of Kosovo Albanian refugees.

"The refugees simply evaporated overnight - at the wave of a magic wand - while the cameras only showed empty fields in the border region where at least `half a million' Kosovo-Metohija Albanians had stayed until yesterday," Tanjug commented.

"The US journalists who arrived at the border crossings between Macedonia and Albania like a flock of birds a few days ago maintained anxiously there were at least 130,000 refugees in Macedonia and nearly 300,000 in Albania.

A total figure of 800,000 was being reported. Well, where have all these people gone?"

Tanjug dismissed the refugee exodus reports as a "farce".

"Evidently, this was a pure propaganda move, another in a series of numerous manipulations to which the US aggressor is resorting, using fabricated news and the mighty television to mislead the public and create excuses for their criminal moves."

'Endless column' heads to Pristina

Serb radio on Thursday said the meeting between Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and moderate Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova on 1 April had persuaded Albanians to return to Kosovo.

"At the Djeneral Jankovic and Globocia border crossings with the Republic of Macedonia and the Vrbnica border crossing with the Republic of Albania, there are no longer convoys of Albanians who sought refuge from the relentless bombardment by the alliance," the radio said.

"The Albanians decided to return home in response to the invitation by the Serbian and Yugoslav state authorities.

A seemingly endless column of people travelling from Djeneral Jankovic border crossing towards Pristina was filmed by a team from Pristina television at about 2030 [1830 gmt] last night.

The reporters of foreign stations, including those from the aggressor states, captured all this on film too," the radio said.

"The Albanians emphasize that in Kosovo-Metohija, where they enjoy full rights, they will continue to live side-by-side with their neighbours - the Serbs, the Turks and the members of other ethnic communities," it added.

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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