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War in The Balkans -

NATO Missiles Hit Bus; 40 Dead


LUZANE, Yugoslavia, May 1, 1999 (Reuters) - The remains of a "Nis Express" passenger bus rest on a bridge near the village of Lujane Saturday in Kosovo after a NATO missile hit the vehicle. The Yugoslav state news agency Tanjug said NATO killed at least 40 people Saturday when a missile hit a bus north of the Kosovo capital Pristina, cutting the vehicle in two and incinerating victims inside.


Reuters Photo

The Associated Press, May 1, 1999

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- A NATO missile struck a civilian bus crossing a bridge in Yugoslavia on Saturday, killing at least 40 people, state-run media and witnesses said.

The attack occurred in the village of Luzane about 12 miles north of the Kosovo capital Pristina.

The state-run Tanjug news agency said the missile struck about 1 p.m. local time, cutting the vehicle in two and sending part of it plunging off the bridge, which was damaged but not destroyed.

About an hour later, the bridge came under attack again and an emergency services doctor was injured, the agency said.

Independent journalists on the scene saw about 15 bodies trapped in the charred bus remnants that fell off the bridge. Most had been burned beyond recognition and were horribly mangled from the blast.

Tanjug said the bus was part of a regular express service linking Pristina and the Serbian city of Nis.

The portion of the bus that remained on the bridge was still burning more than an hour after the attack.

"I was in my garden working when I heard the sound of a plane flying," said Maksic Rajko, a Serb farmer. "I turned towards the sound. I saw a bus on the road and suddenly it exploded. I heard screams and I came to look."

NATO had no immediate comment on the bus attack.

In another attack, Tanjug said five people were killed Saturday when a NATO missile struck the Kurilo district of Prizren, Kosovo's second largest city. About 23 others were injured, Tanjug said.
(End quote)


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Last revised: May 18, 1999