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China to rebuild bombed Belgrade embassy
Updated: 2004-09-25 10:05

China will build a new embassy in Belgrade to replace the one destroyed by a cruise missile during NATO's 1999 bombing campaign, Serbian authorities said Friday.

The missile strike killed three Chinese and strained relations between Washington and Beijing, which claimed the attack was carried out on purpose. U.S. officials insisted it was an accident.

The deal to build the new embassy in the plush Belgrade suburb of Dedinje was signed Friday by Serbian and Chinese officials, the Beta news agency reported.

The bombed embassy building was located in New Belgrade, a residential area of the capital.

The U.S.-led bombing of Yugoslavia, now called Serbia-Montenegro, was launched to stop a crackdown by former President Slobodan Milosevic against Kosovo's independence-seeking ethnic Albanian rebels.

The country's infrastructure was bombed for 78 days before Milosevic agreed to pull his troops out of Kosovo, paving the way for NATO and the United Nations to move in.

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