Serb missiles spread terror through the heart of the elegant capital Wednesday, smashing into a children’s hospital, a theater and other sites. One policeman was killed and 64 people were injured, including children and foreign ballet dancers.
Twenty-one dancers from the Vienna-based Danube Ballet Company, who were wounded during a rehearsal at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, were rushed to the Hospital of the Sisters of Mercy. A Briton, a Pole and a Moldovan dancer were among the injured, as was Croatia’s prima ballerina.
The Children’s Hospital was hit by one missile, which landed in the inner courtyard, scattering shrapnel through windows and walls.
Six people were injured, including children, hospital employees said.
The policeman was killed 15 minutes after the impact when he tried to defuse a still-live cluster bomb carried by the missile, authorities said.
The Serbs’ attack was in revenge for their loss of lives and land to a Croatian army offensive this week.
U.N. special envoy Yasushi Akashi announced a cease-fire in the Serbcontrolled chunk of central Croatia where the Croats attacked Monday and Tuesday, seizing control of a part of the Zagreb-Belgrade highway.
But the truce did not include Zagreb and may not calm the anger and animosity between Serbs and Croats, whose bitter 1991 war killed 10,000 people and left the Serbs in control of one-third of Croatia before spreading to neighboring Bosnia.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said Croatian missiles hit a hospital in Bosanska Gradiska, a Serb-held Bosnian town.