19:27 / 13.03.2022.

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Evidence of a bomb detected on crashed drone in Zagreb, Minister says

Defense Minister Mario Banožić tours the drone crash site on Sunday

Defense Minister Mario Banožić tours the drone crash site on Sunday

Foto: Slavko Midzor / PIXSELL

Investigators have found parts of a bomb on the Soviet-era drone that crashed in Zagreb on Thursday night, said Defense Minister Mario Banožić at a news conference on Sunday. 

The evidence suggests that the aircraft had been carrying a bomb at some point prior to the crash, Banožić explained. The aircraft is a Tupolev 141, a reconnaissance drone, but Banožić said evidence suggests it was not being used for this purpose.


"We have found parts of a bomb, also Soviet-made and carried by plane," Banožić said.


The minister said they believe the drone could be Russian or Ukrainian but the investigation will take more time to arrive at a definitive answer. He believes the black box combined with radar data will help investigators determine where the drone came from. Croatia is working with other NATO member states on tracing its origin, which Banožić said could be Russia or Ukraine.


Asked if this was a targeted attack on Croatia, Banožić referred back to the investigation and said that the speculation and theories being aired in the media about this event were only upsetting the public.


Croatia is unhappy with some of its NATO allies and neighbors, namely Hungary and Romania, who detected the drone well before it reached Croatia but did nothing to raise the alarm. Furthermore, NATO's air defense systems had also tracked the drone's flight path.


"The Prime Minister will speak to the Secretary General and there will be a meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday where this issue will be raised. At the same time, we will also bring up the mistakes that were made in Romania and Hungary,” said Banožić.


Hungarian and Romanian officials have told Croatia they analyzing their data to determine what happened on their ends, Banožić said.


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