Sarajevo sniper kills British aid driver

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The Independent Online
LORRIES used by Edinburgh Direct Aid in the former Yugoslavia have the words 'Don't Shoot' painted in large letters on both sides of the vehicles. But a sniper hiding along Sarajevo's main relief route ignored that plea yesterday and fired on an EDA convoy as it left the city, killing a British relief worker and pumping another round into the crippled international aid effort in Bosnia.

Christine Whitcutt, 56, a volunteer driver with the Scottish-based charity, was travelling along 'sniper's alley' from the city to the airport when she was hit in the arm and the chest. She was dead on arrival at the French military hospital. Her husband, Alan, also a driver for the charity, was with her.

'This was Christine's second aid journey to central Bosnia with Edinburgh Direct Aid. She was a highly committed and respected member of the organisation,' the charity said last night.

Mrs Whitcutt was at least the 14th aid worker/driver killed in Bosnia over the past two months. Her death casts further doubt on the viability of the international relief effort. Publicly, UN and Western officials are determined that supplies will continue to travel along the perilous roads through the war zone, but privately most concede that the aid effort is falling apart.

According to Peter Kessler, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Zagreb, because Serbs, Croats and Muslims stop aid convoys reaching their 'enemies', the UN delivered less than a quarter of its target in central Bosnia in May and June.

The situation has been made worse by a 'law of the jungle' mentality that has taken root since the West backed away from using force to impose a settlement.

UN humiliated, page 10

(Photograph omitted)