Special Reports
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia

DU top
Divided country
stealthy invasion by radiation

Beginning March 24, 1999, NATO forces bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days. The American air force also fired DU tank penetrators. First in the Gulf War in 1991, then in Bosnia in 1995, this was the third time these radioactive weapons have been used in actual combat. Criticism of the use of DU munitions began during the bombing, but it was not until February of this year that NATO formally admitted, in a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, that "we used about 31,000 30mm rounds." Visiting the still divided area, I learned that DU was also used in southern Serbia, which was not included in the area of use announced by NATO. Many are concerned about the impact of DU on the environment and health, but Albanian residents in Kosovo are utterly unaware of the DU in the ground near their homes.

Story and photos by Akira Tashiro

Yugoslavia map