Serbian president says NATO attack 'crime'

Updated: 2012-03-25 11:17


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BELGRADE - Serbian President Boris Tadic, attending Saturday a ceremony commemorating civilian victims of NATO's bombing of former Yugoslavia 13 years ago, said that the bombing was a "crime against a country and people."

Preserving the memory of the innocent victims, everything must be done to make sure that Serbia will never again be drawn into a war, Tadic vowed, adding that" our country has been too immersed in wars in the entire 20th century. "

"Everything we will do in the future should be based on preventing any involvement in any kind of war ever again and on protecting, above all, human lives and the country," Tadic told reporters after laying a wreath at the monument to victims killed in the NATO attack on Aleksinac.

Serbia will always commemorate the anniversary of the beginning of NATO air strikes by remembering the victims, but also by expressing confidence that the state can stand on its own feet, he pointed out.

Tadic laid a wreath at the monument at a ceremony of mourning the victims of the 1999 NATO bombing of Aleksinac, which suffered one of the most brutal NATO attacks during the 11-week air campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Aleksinac, a town with 17,000 population located in the valley of the Juzna Morava River, was targeted by six powerful missiles striking a residential area on April 5, 1999.

The bombing claimed 11 lives and injured 50.

The 13th night of air strikes left Aleksinac downtown ruined, with severe damages on 35 family homes, 125 flats, a number of businesses, health care centers, bus stations.

The wreaths were also laid by Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac and Chief-of-staff of the Serbian Armed Forces Ljubisa Dikovic.