Injured fly out on day of mourning

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The Independent Online
SARAJEVO - As aircraft flew out scores of wounded Sarajevans yesterday, the stunned city mourned the victims of the worst massacre in two years of terror.

Bitter survivors blamed the Bosnian Serb fighters who have held the city in a stranglehold since April 1992 - and the world community that has refused to break that grip.

'Where were you yesterday?' a young Bosnian soldier shouted to a Nato jet howling overhead. 'And what are you going to do today?' He supported his girlfriend, who softly cried 'Papa, papa', for her dead father. 'It is stupid to negotiate with them (the Serbs) after this,' said 84-year-old Ahmet Zekic. 'We have to fight.'

At a football field below Kosevo hospital, long since turned into a cemetery, eight gravediggers cut more holes into the earth.

In the market-place where the mortar bomb landed, blood mixed with rainwater in the newly-made craters. Relatives of the dead left bouquets of red, orange, yellow and pink flowers.

Streets were deserted. The government declared a day of mourning for the dead and the more than 200 wounded.

United Nations and United States aircraft were at work moving out the wounded. A UN spokesman said three US aircraft and one Red Cross flight rescued 128 people.

One American C-130 Hercules arrived early yesterday, dropped off a 13-member team and then left for the Croatian port of Split to wait while evacuees were taken to Sarajevo airport. Another Hercules flew from Aviano, Italy, and took out victims. Huge white armoured personnel carriers marked with red crosses, the property of the Nordic battalion, loaded the wounded at Kosevo hospital to travel across Sarajevo to the airport. UN soldiers were on alert at the airport because of heavy sniper fire.

'Finally, you are doing something,' said one nurse.

Tearful relatives watched, calling out the names of their loved ones. 'I feel I will never see him again,' said 19-year-old Enisa Kadric as her brother Almir, 17, was put into a UN vehicle. 'Somehow, I feel I am not going to survive.'

The evacuees were flown to the US air base in Ramstein, Germany, for treatment in a nearby US Army hospital. The British Foreign Office said 'up to 10' people could also be brought to Britain for treatment.

Bosnia's Muslim President, Alija Izetbegovic, said a UN analysis of the attack, for which the Serbs denied responsibility, could not say definitely which side was to blame.

However, the UN force commander in Bosnia, Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Rose, said there was no

evidence that the Muslims had shelled their own side to curry world sympathy.

The Serbs had fired three mortar bombs that killed nine people in a Sarajevo suburb last Friday, and Saturday's mortar was of the same calibre. 'The world will certainly draw its own conclusions,' he said.

(Map omitted)

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