Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit Marks 31st Anniversary

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - The Lučko Anti-terrorist Unit, which earned its fame on all Croatian battlefields and handles the most complex police tasks today, on Tuesday marked its 31st anniversary with a demonstration exercise.

Before the exercise, wreaths were laid and candles lit at a memorial to the unit's fallen members, with Interior Minister Davor Božinović attending.

"ATJ Lučko was the first organised unit and the first Croatian armed formation which protected the constitutional order, the state leadership, and which earned its wartime fame on all Croatian battlefields," he said, adding that this elite unit had always been on the front lines and engaged in the toughest operations.

During the 1991-95 Homeland War, more than 350 people were in the unit, 19 were killed and 52 were wounded, the minister said.

He said that in peacetime the unit showed its new equipment every year, such as the best specialist vehicles.

Božinović said the incumbent government had invested considerable funds in the police, including European funds, and that HRK 144 million was invested in the special police alone in the past four years.

Procurement will continue and there are plans to equip ATJ Lučko with three new multipurpose helicopters, he added.

The minister said the government cared a lot about the unit and that its elitism was not fake as the unit was not closed but there to help civilians in various disasters. The helicopters, he added, will be made available to the civil protection system.

"Our special forces do not make only Croatia proud. They have been recognised as members of ATLAS and their colleagues across the EU have a high opinion of them," said Božinović.

The ATLAS network is an association of the police tactical units of the EU's 27 member states established following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 upon the initiative of the Police Chiefs Task Force.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

President Zoran Milanović Decorates Participants in 1991's Operation Plitvice

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021- President Zoran Milanović, acting in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces,  on Tuesday decorated participants in 1991's Operation Plitvice, describing them as heroes to whom Croatians owe lasting gratitude.

Milanović presented the decorations at a formal reception in his office, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the operation and in memory of Josip Jović, the first Croatian police officer killed in the 1991-95 Homeland War. 

Jović, 22, was killed and nine other police officers were wounded in a police operation on 31 March 1991 after Serb insurgents occupied the Plitvice Lakes National Park and blocked the D1 state road that connects the country's north and south. Jović was a member of the Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit.

Addressing the participants in the operation, Milanović said that as the Commander in Chief he would pursue a non-partisan policy.

"A policy that does not recognise either of the two big parties or third parties, a policy that recognises only our interests. And for Croatia and us Croatians to be able to define and realise those interests, the state had to be defended and created first. Without you, none of that would have been possible. May the memory of Josip Jović live, to you we owe our gratitude. Long live Croatia!" Milanović said in his address.

In a statement to reporters after the reception, Milanović noted that no government representative attended the event.

For more about war in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Croatian Police and Deminers Rescue Several Migrants From Minefield

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - Police and deminers yesterday and today rescued several illegal migrants whose lives were in jeopardy in the mine field in Saborsko municipality, after one migrant was killed and several sustained injuries in a landmine blast, the Interior Ministry (MUP) said on Friday evening.

Members of Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit yesterday searched the area by helicopter and then warned migrants that they were in a mine suspected area and should stay in place until help arrives. Deminers of Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit this morning started to inspect the field and create a safe corridor for evacuation and ten persons were rescued and offered medical help.

MUP said in the press release that a group of foreign nationals had illegally reached Croatia and entered a mine suspected area in a forest area in municipality Saborsko. There, a younger man stepped on an unidentified explosive device and died, while other persons from the group sustained injuries in the blast. After receiving a report, police officers found one man dead and one injured, while the rest of the group went away in unknown direction.

According to the interior ministry, at the moment six persons have an intention to make an application for international protection in Croatia, while other persons are in medical care due to having sustained injuries.The life of one of them is in danger.

The Ministry of the Interior and Croatian police, it is recalled, have been intensively underscoring the dangers of illegal migrations since 2018, especially warning of the danger of mine suspected areas, severe winter conditions in the mountains and rivers.