United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson tonight criticised, what she called, the complacency and selfishness of the Irish for accepting only 1,000 refugees from Kosovo. Mrs Robinson, who was speaking in Galway, said that adopting a welcome approach to Kosovar refugees would send a strong signal of Ireland's revulsion against the common assault on their rights.
NATO earlier admitted that one of its laser-guided missiles went astray during an overnight attack on the Yugoslav capital, Belgrade. Serb officials said it hit a hospital killing three people. The blast also took out windows and the main door of the Swedish ambassador's residence nearby.
Today, NATO admitted that a laser-guided bomb went astray during a raid on a military barracks close to the hospital, in what it described as its heaviest night of bombing in two weeks. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said that one of seven bombs aimed the army barracks missed its target. However, he refused to say whether or not the missile hit a hospital. The Yugoslav authorities said two that pregnant women were among the injured.
The Swedish ambassador's residence in Belgrade was also reported to have been slightly damaged by the blast. The Swedish Foreign Minister has described the bombing as "unacceptable" and said that she would seek an explanation from the alliance. The attack was one of many overnight raids reported in and around the city. A chemical plant, a power station and a water purification plant were among the targets reported to have been damaged.
Meanwhile, the Russian envoy, Viktor Chernomyrdin, has arrived back in Moscow for talks aimed at ending the Kosovo crisis. Mr Chernomyrdin will meet with the Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari, who is representing the European Union, and the American Deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott. Yesterday Mr Chernomyrdin spent seven hours in talks with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade, in an attempt to narrow the gap between Yugoslavia and the international community over Kosovo. Mr Chernomyrdin reported progress following the meeting. Progress was also reported from a meeting in Bonn of diplomats from the Group of Eight countries who have been trying to agree the text of a United Nations resolution aimed at ending the conflict.