Cassette bombs dismantled at Niš Airport

Russian experts have dismantled five cassette bombs found near the passenger terminal of Constantine the Great Airport in Niš, Serbia (the second largest city in the country). The bombs were thrown during the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia in which the airport was badly damaged. Together with the three cassette bombs a mine throwing bomb was also found unexploded since World War Two near the passenger terminal. A further two cassette bombs were found on August 15, 5 to 30cm deep in the ground. The exploration of the airport complex (of 704.000 square metres in area) began on July 31, 2008 with 5.000 square meters already being searched. Work on the whole site should be complete by the end of the year.

In the 78 day bombing of Serbia, Niš was hard hit with some of the most controversial raids taking place with many civilians killed. Cassette bombs have been banned by the Geneva Convention since World War Two however a few world powers persist in using them. Niš Constantine the Great International Airport was reconstructed in 2004 thanks to donations by the Norwegian Government and Serbian Royal family. The airport is served by national airline Jat Airways, national airline of Montenegro as well as Thompsonfly from the United Kingdom (only during the winter season). The airport handled 30.461 passengers in 2007, a decrease of 5.000 compared to 2006 contributed by the closing down of many lines by Jat Airways due to unprofitability. However 2008, with an increase in lines by Jat Airways and the reintroduction of flights from Tivat to Niš by Montenegro Airlines, should secure the airport to have over 35.000 passengers.