Even before the Tomahawk attack, Bosnian Serb media were claiming that up to 200 civilians had been killed since NATO began its raids. On Sunday, Bosnian Serb TV gave extensive coverage to what it said were the deaths of a young brother and sister whose car was hit in a NATO attack on a road north of Sarajevo late Saturday night.
U.N. officials are preparing to inspect a Bosnian Serb hospital near Sarajevo where the Serbs claim the U.N. rapid-reaction force overshot its target and killed 10 people Friday.
NATO and U.S. officials in Washington said the use of the Tomahawk missiles does not represent a change in the military mission or the U.S. role in the conflict. But clearly the U.S.-led operation is demonstrating its willingness to reach into its arsenal for the most sophisticated weapons available.
Tomahawks were last used extensively in the spring of 1993, when U.S. warships fired nearly 50 of the missiles at the Iraqi intelligence headquarters in Baghdad in retaliation for alleged Iraqi complicity in an assassination plot against former President George Bush.
On Sunday, the missiles, carrying conventional 700-pound warheads with a boosted explosive punch equivalent to 1,000-pound weapons, reached their targets in the Banja Luka area at roughly 9:30 p.m., the Navy said in Washington. They had been fired in a sequential "ripple effect" nearly an hour earlier and flew to their targets at what was described as "high subsonic" speed.
The Navy has long argued that cruise missiles, which can be fired from ships hundreds of miles from a target, are superior in many ways to aerial bombardment.
Times staff writers James Gerstenzang in Washington and Tyler Marshall in Brussels contributed to this report.
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Path of Attack
The U.S. cruiser Normandy, in the Adriatic Sea, fired 13 Tomahawk missiles at targets near the Bosnian Serb stronghold of Banja Luka.
The Tomahawk, capable of following any geographical terrain to its intended target, can "see" through a tiny television camera mounted in its nose.
* Length: 21 ft.
* Diameter: 20.9 inches
* Wing span: 8 ft. 6 inches
* Cruise engine: 606 pounds thrust turbofan
* Range: about 710 miles
* Cruising speed: 550 m.p.h.
\o7 Source: Jane's Weapon Systems\f7