British soldier dies in Bosnian explosion

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The Independent Online
A BRITISH soldier working with the NATO-led peacekeeping force was killed yesterday, along with a Bosnian civilian, in an explosion at a weapons collection site in the central town of Bugojno.

A spokesman for the NATO Stabilisation Force (SFOR) said that four other soldiers were injured in the incident, one of them seriously, but could not confirm reports that three of those injured were also British. The injured were flown by helicopter to a SFOR field hospital. The civilian killed was a Bosnian Moslem man.

According to eye witness reports, a landmine or grenade had been handed in by a young boy but exploded while troops were moving it to a weapons storage area. The boy was notinjured.

The incident occurred during an operation called `Harvest', which involves the voluntary surrender of weapons and ammunition left over from the 1992- 1995 Bosnian war to troops from the NATO SFOR.

Four years after the Bosnian war ended, hundreds of thousands of landmines still lie hidden, claiming victims every month.

SFOR has 30,000 soldiers from some 40 countries with the main task to help secure peace following the conflict. The NATO body is also active in efforts to remove the mines.

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