By Jacky RowlandNato criticised over uranium rounds
Friday, 21 April, 2000
The Belgrade authorities have accused Nato of using much more depleted uranium in its attacks against Yugoslavia last year than admitted by Western leaders.
The Yugoslav figures on the use of uranium were made public for the first time in a report issued on Friday.
The question of long-term environmental damage is one of the most controversial issues to have emerged from the conflict last year between Yugoslavia and Nato.
The Yugoslav authorities accuse Nato of polluting the soil, air and water through its attacks on oil refineries and chemical factories.
The Deputy Defence Minister, General Slobodan Petkovic, said most of the rounds were fired on Kosovo along the border with Albania.
He said Nato used about 50,000 rounds containing depleted uranium, whereas the report by the western alliance to the United Nations earlier this year mentioned only about 30,000.
For the first time, the Yugoslav army has admitted that radioactive materials were dropped outside Kosovo as well.
Seven locations in Serbia and one in Montenegro were targeted.
General Petkovic said the areas had been sealed off and Yugoslav experts had detected radioactivity well above safe levels.
Some of the affected areas are said to be in parts of southern Serbia, where there is a high ethnic Albanian population.