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From the Eastern Daily Press, Friday, July 9, 1999:

Poisonous legacy of Nato bombing

PETER OFFORD.
Old Palace Road, Norwich.

I have watched the prosecution of the war in Kosovo with varying degrees of uneasiness, dismay and horror.

As a child, I read my father's volumes on the Great War - "the war to end all wars" - and the blatant propaganda demonising the German forces and people as "the Hun". The current trend is to demonise the Serbian people.

My unease led to horror when I inadvertently heard a radio programme explaining that Nato forces had been using a substance called depleted uranium (DU) in the tips of its armaments.

It has been quoted that 35,000 sorties were flown. With only three tanks found damaged after use of the "smart" targeting system, where has all this ordnance and deadly depleted uranium gone?

The latter substance has a half life of over four million years and a health risk of leukaemia, kidney and liver disease and birth defects.

It was used in the Gulf War and although there is no official correlation, these symptoms are uncannily close to that of Gulf War Syndrome from which so many of our Servicemen still suffer (those that haven't already died). Are our troops and the people of Yugoslavia to be subjected to exposure to this?

With DU in the environment and the destruction of power plants, oil refineries and chemical plants by Nato, there are reports that the Danube. from which the population derives its drinking water, is toxic and the fish are dead.

Was this a "humanitarian" war when thousands of civilians have been killed, wounded, traumatised and left homeless, and are now going to be poisoned by the deadly aftermath?

Having bombed civilians out of their country - the Serbs are now fleeing in their thousands - and destroyed the main areas of civilisation in Yugoslavia (including our twin city of Nova Sad), America and UK are now refusing to offer aid. Many of these people who are being refused aid were doing their best to oust the tyrant Milosevic before Nato began bombing.

If this is a "humanitarian" war then I need a new dictionary.

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