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Serbia: 16 TV employees killed in 1999 NATO raid remembered

Ceremony at night in Belgrade in front of Rts headquarters

23 April, 13:32
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, 23 APR - A memorial ceremony was held overnight in Belgrade in remembrance of the 16 technicians and employees of the Serbian public TV station (Rts) who died during the 1999 spring NATO bombing raids. Dozens of journalists, Rts employees, family members, along with city authorities, gathered in silence around a memorial stone with only the inscription 'Zashto' (Because, in Serbian) in front of the public TV headquarters in the center of the capital to pay tribute to the victims. The ceremony was held shortly after 2 a.m., the same time the building was hit on April 23, 24 years ago, in a massacre of civilians still the subject of outrage and condemnation today. The Allied raids, decided against Serbia for the repressions and ethnic cleansing of the then regime of Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo, lasted 78 days and ended on June 9, 1999 with the withdrawal of Belgrade's troops from Kosovo, where about 50,000 NATO soldiers entered, the Kfor Force still present today but with a significantly smaller number of soldiers, about 3,500 men from various countries , with the Italian contingent among the most numerous. In command of the Kfor is currently Italian General Angelo Michele Ristuccia. On Feb. 17, 2008, Kosovo, a southern province of Serbia with a majority Albanian population, proclaimed independence, which was recognized by a hundred countries, including the U.S. and Italy, but not by Serbia, Russia, China and five EU member states-Spain, Greece, Romania, Cyprus and Slovakia. An EU-facilitated dialogue has been underway since 2011 to reach an agreement on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. (ANSA).

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