BELGRADE, March 18. /TASS/. Children killed in bombing raids are a symbol of NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday, answering a question from a TASS correspondent.
"What became a symbol and why all of us were shocked is what they called collateral losses. Many children, more than 90, were killed, but all of us do remember little Sanja from Varvarin who excelled in mathematics, and especially little Milica Rakic, a two-year-old kid in Batajnica killed by bombing raids. An innocent child, not guilty of anything. That became a symbol of that terrible crime committed against Serbia and our people," the Serbian leader said.
NATO’s military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began on March 24, 1999. Top NATO officials said the primary cause of Operation Allied Force was the prevention of the alleged genocide of the Albanian population in Kosovo. According to the NATO website, during the operation, which lasted 78 days, the alliance’s warplanes made 38,000 sorties, more than 10,000 of them for conducting bombing raids.
According to research by military experts, 3,000 cruise missiles were fired, about 80,000 tonnes of bombs, including cluster bombs and ones containing depleted uranium, were dropped. According to Serbian data, from 3,500 to 4,000 people were killed in NATO’s bombing raids, about 10,000 others were injured, two-thirds of them were civilians. Material damage amounted to $100 bln. That said, the bombing of oil refineries and petrochemical plants led to the contamination of the country’s water system with toxic substances.