Slaughter in Bosnia hospital: Muslims hit Croats, Serbs hit Muslims, Morillon threatens to go

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The Independent Online
FIFTY-TWO Bosnian Muslims were reported killed in a Serbian rocket attack on a hospital in the beseiged enclave of Gorazde yesterday.

An amateur radio report from the enclave, one of six UN-designated 'safe areas' for Muslims in Bosnia, said the improvised hospital was reduced to rubble. Bosnian Serbs say they are poised to enter the town, the last Muslim stronghold in eastern Bosnia, a fragile refuge for 60,000 people.

In Sarajevo, heavy Bosnian Serb bombardment forced the United Nations to close the airport temporarily, cutting off supplies to the capital's 300,000 inhabitants.

One shell fell on the headquarters of General Philippe Morillon, the UN commander in Bosnia, while sniper fire raked his residence. General Morillon, declaring that Bosnia is 'moving towards complete anarchy' warned that peacekeepers will have no option but to withdraw from Bosnia if the factions

carry on flouting ceasefire agreements.

The threat came as a Muslim offensive in central Bosnia squeezed Croat-held Vitez, posing a threat to the security of British UN troops based in the town. Some army sources suggested the town may fall to the Muslims 'within days'.

British Warrior fighting vehicles returned fire yesterday when gunmen shot at a convoy escorting a BBC vehicle from Vitez to Split in Croatia. Bosnian Croats probably carried out the attack, seeking revenge for the killing of two soldiers from the HVO, the Bosnia Croat army, by British troops last week.

The commanders of all three factions are due to meet this week in Sarajevo for talks on ending Bosnia's 14-month war. But the Muslim onslaught on Vitez and Serbian attacks on Gorazde make it unlikely the meeting will take place.

The Muslim offensive in central Bosnia, a traditionally Croatian region that the Vance- Owen peace deal assigned to the Croats, has shattered the image of the Muslims as helpless underdogs. After the capture of Travnik last week, the Muslims look set to gain a valuable crescent of territory. The danger is that these advances will push Bosnian Croats and Serbs into an anti-Muslim alliance.

The Muslim attacks have also wrecked Muslim hopes of lifting the embargo on the export of arms to Bosnia. In Geneva Lord Owen, the EC mediator, said lifting the embargo was 'no longer even on the agenda'.

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