Sniper kills Briton in Bosnia

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The Independent Online
A BRITISH soldier with the United Nations in Bosnia was killed by a sniper near the besieged, Muslim- held town of Gorazde on Sunday night.

He was named as Private Shaun Richard Taylor, 20, of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Pte Taylor, a single man from Cleveland, was the sixth British soldier to die in Bosnia since Operation Grapple began in October 1992. There are 3,500 British troops in the Bosnia peace- keeping force.

Pte Taylor was in an observation post one kilometre north-east of Gorazde when he was hit by a single bullet - apparently fired from a Serb position up to two kilometres (1.2 miles) away. The range, according to Army sources, suggests that a sniper's rifle with a calibre of as much as 0.5in (12.7mm) may have been used. Such rounds will smash through flak jackets.

The UN in Sarajevo said Pte Taylor was hit in the shoulder after the observation post he was manning with five other Britons came under heavy fire at 8.20pm local time on Sunday night. British troops returned fire as he was evacuated to the Norwegian UN hospital in Gorazde. He was dead on arrival at 8.50pm. It was the fifth attack on UN troops during the day.

There are 220 men from the Duke of Wellington's Regiment patrolling Gorazde, a UN safe area, as well as 50 soldiers from the Royal Engineers and Royal Logistics Corps. The two British companies are based on either side of the river Drina. Pte Taylor joined his West Riding-based regiment in 1992.

The shooting came a few days after two British soldiers were injured when an explosion damaged their armoured vehicle six miles south- west of Maglaj in central Bosnia.

The killing came as a Bosnia-wide truce agreed three weeks ago started to fall apart. The mainly Muslim Bosnian army launched an offensive against the Serbs in Bosnia last week, and yesterday saw more clashes in the centre of the republic. The Muslims have been gaining ground from the Serbs since signing a peace pact with the Croats, which has meant they no longer have to fight two enemies.

Ceasefire crumbles, page 8