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Croatia | The drone that crashed in Zagreb was carrying an aerial bomb

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(Zagreb) Le drone militaire de conception soviétique qui s’est écrasé jeudi à Zagreb transportait une bombe aérienne, a dit dimanche le ministre croate de la Défense, qui a déploré des « manquements » dans la réaction de certains alliés au sein de l’OTAN.

« Nous avons découvert sur l’engin des parties de la bombe aérienne […] and we can say for now that it is an aerial bomb that was used on Soviet-made planes,” Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banozic told reporters.

Croatian authorities said on Saturday that the device, “launched on the territory of Ukraine”, was a Tupolev Tu-141 Strizh, a remote-controlled aircraft manufactured in the 1970s and 1980s for the needs of the Soviet army which used for reconnaissance missions.

According to the Minister, this drone of more than six tons has undergone “modifications […] obviously lately.”

“The traces of the explosive and other elements found suggest that this device was not intended for reconnaissance,” Banozic said.

He did not indicate whether the bomb had exploded, and was unable to specify the type. The wreckage of the drone and the fragments of the bomb will be transported “to a military zone where a detailed analysis will be made”, he explained.

The machine crashed Thursday evening in a park located six kilometers from the center of Zagreb, next to a university city housing 4,500 students and some 200 meters from a residential area, without causing any casualties. Forty cars parked in a parking lot were damaged.


PHOTO DARKO BANDIC, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Police inspect site of a drone crash in Zagreb, Croatia, Friday, March 11, 2022. A drone that apparently flew all the way from the Ukrainian war zone crashed overnight on the outskirts of the Croatian capital, Zagreb, triggering a loud blast but causing no injuries, Croatian authorities said Friday. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

The investigators also discovered the “black box” of the machine which should allow, with the coordinates of the trajectory recorded by radars, to determine its starting point, according to the minister.

He announced that the fall of the drone would be discussed at a ministerial meeting of NATO member countries on Wednesday, and in particular the “failures that occurred in Romania and Hungary”.

Croatian authorities say the craft flew for around 40 minutes in Hungarian airspace and that Croatia was not notified. Before crashing in Zagreb, the drone flew for seven minutes in Croatian space, according to the same source.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Saturday deplored the lack of coordination within NATO in this “incident”.

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