Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Sunday, May 16, 1999 Published at 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK

World: Europe

Nato dumps bombs in Adriatic

Divers in Venice harbour proclaim "The war is right here"

Nato has admitted dumping unexploded bombs into the Adriatic Sea after fishermen found several in their nets off the coast of Venice.

Kosovo: Special Report
A Nato spokesman said bombs had been dumped on several occasions.

"The procedures were carried out in international waters in 'designated areas' for this sort of operation," he added.

BBC News' Rachael Payne reports
The bombs are thought to have been dropped by some of the hundreds of Nato planes flying missions over the Balkans.

The major Aviano air base is close to Venice and it is standard practice to jettison weapons if a military plane is in difficulty as it comes in to land.

Kosovo - Military hardware
Italian army officials who examined the devices said they probably dated from World War II.

But Nato admitted some bombs could have been prematurely dropped by pilots because of mechanical problems.

Strike action

David Willey reports from Rome: "Growing public disquiet"
During the past week two fishermen were injured in explosions and about 30 bombs were caught in fishing nets.

Venice fishermen have been on strike since Wednesday to try to force the Italian authorities to dispose of the bombs.

In a meeting between Italian authorities and about 200 fishermen in Chioggia on Saturday, national fishing co-operative president Enzo Fornaro said he had never heard of designated areas.

"It would be absurd because once explosives are dropped in the water they risk drifting to other parts of the sea," he said.

Nato military spokesman Major General Walter Jertz stressed that the bombs were found in international waters rather than Italian territory.

The incident has stirred further anti-Nato sentiment in Italy, which has seen several demonstrations against the Kosovo campaign.

Italian opposition leaders are planning a peace march to Assissi - the birthplace of St Francis - on Sunday.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

15 May 99 | Europe
Serbs blamed for Nato killings

01 May 99 | Kosovo
Italian PM's balancing act

Internet Links


Serbian Ministry of Information

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift