Military Drone Carrying Air Bomb Flies Across NATO Member States Into Croatia
CROATIA - A Soviet-era Tu-141 military drone carrying a bomb flew across three NATO member states before finally crashing down in Croatia, in an urban area according to the Croatian defense minister on Sunday.
The military drone, which was used for reconnaissance missions in both Ukraine and Russia in the 1980s crossed Romania and Hungary before it entered Croatia and crashed down into a field by a student dormitory building on Thursday where it exploded and damaged around 40 cars that were parked.
No one was injured in the blast, where the Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banozic stated, "Traces of explosives and clues suggesting that this was not a reconnaissance aircraft were found. We found parts of an air bomb".
The Defense Minister said that the drone could have belonged to either Russia or Ukraine and is not sure who sent it, "There are elements that indicated it could have come from both".
Investigators however, searched the large crater the explosion created for parts the drone left behind and found a black box that though, partly damaged may be able to reveal the exact flight path and origination point of the drone.
Croatian officials criticized NATO for what they call a slow reaction to a very serious incident and questioned the readiness level of the NATO member states and their ability to quickly respond to an attack.
NATO said that they tracked the military drone's flight path with air and missile defense systems, but Croatian officials said that no one informed their countries authorities about the object that they had been tracking.
Banozic stated, "If this situation had been detected and resolved in time in neighboring countries, we would not be here today. We will seek answers to what happened. The defense ministers of Romania and Hungary said that day they were evaluating what happened. We are waiting for an answer".