Bosnian snows delay US troop deployment

Sarajevo - Snow and fog yesterday closed Tuzla's airfield for the fourth day, preventing the first US combat troops from landing. Nato diverted flights carrying equipment and personnel to Sarajevo instead.

Two trains were en route from Hungary to the Croatian town of Zupanja, 150 miles east of Zagreb, carrying US troops and equipment to build a bridge across the Sava River, a Nato spokeswoman said.

But no American planes have landed in Tuzla since Wednesday, delaying the establishment of the command post for 20,000 American troops who are to patrol north-east Bosnia. They will make up one third of the 60,000- member Nato mission, due to take charge formal of peace-keeping operations at noon on Wednesday.

Bosnian Serb leaders, meanwhile, formally accepted the mission, but reiterated their objections to giving up territory and said their "president", Radovan Karadzic, should not be prosecuted for war crimes.