British soldier killed by mine in Bosnia

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The Independent Online
A BRITISH OFFICER was killed and two soldiers injured yesterday when their Land Rover hit a mine north-west of Gornji Vakuf in central Bosnia. Two local guides travelling with the British troops were also hurt.

The dead man was named as Captain Steven Peter Wormald, 28, of 2nd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment. The other two Britons are not seriously injured.

Details were still sketchy last night but the Army said that the Land Rover hit an anti-tank mine at 3.15pm local time, three miles from Gornji Vakuf. The vehicle was on a minor road - not the main road that leads to Bugojno - and appears to have been on a reconnaissance patrol. Three local guides were also in the Land Rover.

It was in the area where Muslims and Croats recently withdrew from their former confrontation line. The former warring sides, now linked in a federation, agreed to pull back two kilometres either side of a line fixed a month ago. The agreement was supervised by Brigadier John Reith, the British commander of the United Nation's south-west sector, based in Gornji Vakuf.

Since the conclusion of the agreement, British UN troops have been supervising the withdrawal of Muslim and Croat militia forces and beginning the hazardous task of reconnoitering the no man's land between the former lines.

Last night, the two wounded British soldiers were being treated at the field hospital in Bugojno, a few kilometres north of Gornji Vakuf, which is the base for the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, one of the two British battalions in Bosnia. Captain Wormald was the third British serviceman to die in Bosnia this month, and the fifth since troops were sent in November 1992.

It is estimated there are 2 to 3 million mines in central Bosnia, mostly left over from the year-long Muslim- Croat war which ended in February.

British troops have been attending 'mine awareness briefings', and the danger is never underestimated. Anti- tank mines need considerable pressure to set them off, but when they explode the effect is devastating.

Bosnia's new flashpoint, page 10

Akashi Profile, page 14