12:13 / 02.05.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Anniversary of rocket attack on Zagreb and other cities in central Croatia in 1995

Commemorative plaque marking the rocket attack on Zagreb in 1995

Commemorative plaque marking the rocket attack on Zagreb in 1995

Foto: Luka Stanzl / PIXSELL

Today and tomorrow marks the 27th anniversary of the rocket attack on a number of cities in central Croatia in 1995, where seven people were killed and more than 200 wounded in Zagreb alone. The rocket attack took place in retaliation for the loss of occupied parts of western Slavonia in the military-police operation "Flash", and the army of insurgent Serbs rocket attacked civilian targets with the "Orkan" rocket system with cluster munitions, prohibited by international conventions. The very centers of Zagreb, Sisak, Karlovac and Jastrebarsko were attacked.

On the first day rockets with so-called "bells" fell on Strossmayer Square and the streets east of Križanićeva, and on the second day on the buildings of the Children's Hospital in Klaićeva Street, the Croatian National Theater, the Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Retirement Home "Centar". Also targeted were the Airport and the Pleso settlement. Seven people were killed in the attacks, including one deminer who was involved in removing a large number of unexploded "bells", and 218 people were injured.

In October 2013, during the repair of the roof at the Children's Hospital, a leftover "bell" was found, which was safely detonated by the Anti-Explosive Device Service, but only after an operation was successfully completed in the operating room under that roof.

Martić was convicted of rocket attacking Zagreb

One of the leaders of the Serbian rebels, Milan Martić, publicly admitted his responsibility in Knin, and earlier, in February 1995, he said that no one could stop them from hitting Zagreb, Osijek, Vinkovci, Zadar, Karlovac, Split and other cities. On the second day of the attack, he said on television that he had ordered the strike on Zagreb.

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia sentenced Martić to 35 years in prison for persecution, murder, torture, deportation and other crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war in the early 1990s against Croats and other non-Serbs in Croatia. He was also declared responsible for ordering a rocket attack on Zagreb in May 1995.

In March 2020, Martić was sentenced in absentia by the Zagreb County Court to seven years in prison for rocket attacking Karlovac in May 1995, while 'Krajina' General Milan Čeleketić was sentenced to 20 years in absentia for attacks on the city and Zagreb.

In memory of the victims of the attack, in 2007 Zagreb named the area on the corner of Vlaška and Draškovićeva streets, the Square of May Victims in 1995.

Source: HRT

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