After weeks of intense aerial assaults on targets in Yugoslavia, we have suffered a casualty of the NATO bombing campaign. The casualty was not a member of the Air Force, the Navy, the Army or the Marines but a member of ASTA.

Sea Air Holidays in Stamford, Conn., a tour operator specializing in Europe river cruises, shut down operations April 20 after 20 years in business. In a letter to ASTA and the travel agency community, the company said it had to close its doors due to "problems caused by the military action in Iraq over the winter months and the most recent allied bombing of the Danube in and around Belgrade."

And as with any casualty of war, the loss of Sea Air has affected many others. The letter said all scheduled group and individual departures were canceled, and no funds were available for creditors.

The upshot is that several agencies that had booked groups and fam trips with Sea Air were left in the lurch, and when they called the company, they got nothing more than a tape-recorded message.

Tour operators' closing shop without notice is nothing new in the travel industry, but by all accounts, Sea Air Holidays was a reputable company, an operator that by virtue of its specialty was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

News coverage of the conflict in the Balkans has reminded us all that despite all the high technology in today's weapons of war, not every bomb or missile hits its target, and the victims of such strikes are often innocent indeed.

The longer the conflict in the Balkans continues, the more likely it is the number of innocent victims will grow.

Let's hope a solution can be arrived at quickly. For the victims in Kosovo, and those around the world.

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