Shell splinters seriously injured the grandmother of one of the children, who were shot during the weekend evacuation of an orphanage that went disastrously wrong.
Two mortar shells exploded within 100 yards of the Lion cemetery as mourners, including about 30 children from the orphanage, stood around the graves of Vedrana Glavas, two, and Roki Sulejmanovic, who was one.
Vedrana's mother, Svjetlana, and grandmother, Ruza, were already distraught at having missed the child's burial by several minutes. Frightened gravediggers had interred the two coffins side by side without ceremony during an earlier mortar attack, just before the women reached the cemetery, where scores of victims of the Serbian siege of Sarajevo are buried.
The second attack sent mourners, who had strewn the graves with wild flowers, diving for cover among the gravestones. Another mortar shell then landed as they fled towards the gates. Shrapnel punched a hole the size of a fist in Ruza's arm.
Journalists drove her to hospital, where doctors said they might have to amputate the arm. She underwent three-and-a-half hours of surgery and three blood transfusions, but it was unclear last night whether the limb could be saved. Svjetlana, who gave Vedrana to the orphanage because she could not afford to feed her, said that she had not given permission for the child to be evacuated to Germany, and had never been officially informed of her death.
Indira Hadziomerovic, 17, a mourner, said: 'We lived happily together for many years and now it has come to killing each other's babies . . . what is happening to us?'
Biljana Plavsic, a former Serbian member of the Bosnian presidency, denied Serbian forces had attacked the cemetery. 'We condemn such attacks,' she said. 'Each of our soldiers on the front lines is horrified and condemns such attacks.' Another Bosnian Serb official, Velibor Ostojic, said he had witnesses to prove that Muslim gunmen killed the children.
(Photograph omitted)Reuse content