Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Things That Go Boom

Croatia experienced some sort of crime wave in past few days. Near Bjelovar two young boys were attacked and savagely mutilated by unknown assailant. In one of the more posh sections of Zagreb former Tudjman's physician got robbed at gunpoint in his very house.
But city of Split is more entertained with the incident in local marina. 39-year old police diver was seriously injured while defusing explosive device. The device itself had been defused but detonator exploded afterwards painting the sea red and convincing the onlookers – who had expected to see police divers dig out ancient amphoras – that something terribly wrong had happened.
The most interesting thing about this story is the way different media had interpreted it. Nobody dared to use headlines like EXPLOSIVE DEVICE IN SPLIT MARINA! in the middle of tourist season. Major television stations, of course, told the story about mines being legacy of WW2. Slobodna Dalmacija, on the other hand, printed more disturbing version about explosive device being anti-tank mine. This mine was apparently dumped some time in 1990s. Following the takeover of former Federal military facilities, hardware like this ended in hands of private citizens and became popular negotiating tool for more enterprising Split businessmen in that era.
Of course, in this day and age, and with Croatian Army platoon being stationed in Kabul, this story is going to get even more disturbing.


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