NATO attack on Albanian Refuge


Full Serb TV extract of alleged NATO pilot tape

BELGRADE, April 18 (Reuters) - Serbian state television on Sunday broadcast extracts of a taped conversation purporting to show a NATO pilot being ordered to attack a civilian convoy in Kosovo last week despite seeing only cars and tractors.

Here is the full extract of the conversation, said to be between an AWACS early warning plane (''Mother'') and the pilot of an NATO F-16 fighter (''Charlie Bravo''), translated into Serbian, due to be published by the Belgrade daily Vercenje Novosti on Monday.

The following extracts were translated back to English by Reuters from the television broadcast.

Serbian television did not play the original tape, nor did it say how the newspaper had obtained the recording.

Pilot: ``Good day. I am in a position 80. No movement underneath. Please information on red Migs (Yugoslav fighter aircraft).''

``Hello Charlie Bravo. Mother here. Patrol towards northwest direction Prizren-Djakovica. There are no red Migs in the air.''

``Okay, I am going to 3,000 ft.''

``Mother to Charlie Bravo. You get reinforcements in ten minutes. There will be something interesting south of Djakovica.''

``Charlie Bravo to Mother. I am coming out of the clouds, still nothing in sight.''

``Mother to Charlie Bravo. Continue to the north, course 280.''

``Charlie Bravo to Mother. I am keeping 3,000 feet. Under me columns of cars, some kind of tractors. What is it? Requesting instructions.''

``Mother to Charlie Bravo. Do you see tanks? Repeat, where are the tanks?''

``Charlie Bravo to Mother. I see tractors. I suppose the Reds did not camouflage tanks as tractors.''

``Mother to Charlie Bravo. What kind of strange convoy is this? What, civilians? Damn, this is all the Serbs' doing. Destroy the target.''

``Charlie Bravo to Mother. What should i destroy? Tractors? Ordinary cars? Repeat, I do not see any tanks. Request additional instructions.''

``Mother to Charlie Bravo. This is a military target, a completely legitimate military target. Destroy the target, Repeat, destroy the target.''

``Charlie Bravo to Mother. Understand. Roger. Launching.''

Serbia says at least 64 people were killed in the attack on a vehicles carrying Kosovo Albanian refugees near Djakovica, not far from the Albanian border, on April 14.

NATO has declined to confirm the casualty figure and described the incident as ``one tragic accident.''

``Even more than you I would really welcome clarification,'' NATO spokesman Jamie Shea told a questioner at the daily NATO briefing in Brussels on Sunday.

But he said there was no new information from NATO military commanders who were investigating the incident.

18:48 04-18-99