Bosnian weather beats peace-keepers

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The Independent Online
FREEZING fog and thick snow have delayed the deployment of Nato peace enforcement troops due to take over from the United Nations on Wednesday, striking hard at the US mission to north-eastern Bosnia.

The runway at Tuzla air base, the planned US headquarters, was closed for the fourth consecutive day by fog, but US officials insist the weather will not hinder their mission. Yesterday Nato formally authorised the deployment - "G-Day" in army-speak - but it was an inauspicious start for the 85 American soldiers and airmen in Tuzla.

The peace enforcement mission is due to start on Wednesday, when the UN transfers authority to Nato. A ghostly cargo plane floated through the fog only a few hundred feet above the runway as it made three attempts to land and allow aviation officials to certify the navigation equipment installed by the US military. But that was the closest it came to the runway, where dozens of reporters, photographers and TV cameras huddled in the cold.