ZAGREB, Croatia (AP)--A bomb Monday toppled a statue of former Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito in his home town in northern Croatia.
The Culture Ministry condemned the early morning attack in the town of Kumrovec - which also damaged nearby houses -calling it a "barbaric act."
The head and a right shoulder of the bust were blown off in the explosion, Croatian state-run radio said.
No one took responsibility for the blast.
Part of the village is a memorial to Tito's childhood, and the area is considered a national heritage site.
Tito, who headed Yugoslavia from its creation at the end of World War II until his death in 1980, was credited for holding together a patchwork of different nationalities in what was then known as the Yugoslav federation.
After his death many ex-Yugoslavs denounced Tito as a communist strongman who suppressed religion, persecuted his opponents and disregarded human rights.
Croatian nationalists charge he was a criminal, responsible for the deaths of many Croats during his leadership.
When Croatia's conservative government recently destroyed two monuments to the officials of Croatia's World War II pro-Nazi regime erected by nationalists, some Croats insisted that Tito's monuments should be destroyed as well.
The ministry said it would swiftly repair damage to the statue.
December 27, 2004 06:32 ET (11:32 GMT)- - 06 32 AM EST 12-27-04
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