"Government hid truth about consequences of NATO's bombing"

In anticipation of a national lab that will uncover the consequences of NATO's bombing, a Belgrade daily writes that similar research has been done before.

Source: Vecernje novosti
One of NATO's targets in Belgrade in 1999 (Tanjug, file)
One of NATO's targets in Belgrade in 1999 (Tanjug, file)

According to Vecernje Novosti, two large studies have been done to date - but "without any epilogue." Namely, as soon as alarming data emerged, everything was swept under the carpet, the daily said.

One of these studies was conducted immediately after the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, the article continued. The military clinic VMA in Belgrade "attempted to find out to what degree soldiers and officers from Kosovo, as well as their children, were at risk because they were in contact with depleted uranium."

A VMA expert told the daily that a sample was formed and observed that included about 2,000 soldiers, and that the research included their children born between 2000 and 2004 who were being treated and controlled within the clinic's system. There were 1,752 of these children.

Also, a group of 1,204 children born earlier, from 1995 to 1999, was used as a control sample.

According to the expert, "alarming data" was revealed after medical documentation was examined. Children born during the NATO bombing frequently had anomalies - endocrine and metabolic diseases, as well as malignant neoplasms.

However, this study produced "no epilogue." The official explanation was that the number of those included was not sufficient for proper scientific analysis - while unofficially, the government at the time stopped the research, the newspaper writes.

The article added that depleted uranium was also used during the bombing of Serb forces during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that a link was established between the use of this type of ammunition and a rising number of malignant diseases.

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