Death not worth an air strike

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The Independent Online
The Bangladeshi soldier seriously wounded in Monday's deliberate attack on a UN armoured vehicle in the Bihac pocket in north-west Bosnia died yesterday in the US Mash hospital in Zagreb.

The Bosnian Muslims also launched an attack in the "demilitarised zone" on Mount Igman just outside Sarajevo yesterday.

The Bangladeshi vehicle was struck by two wire-guided anti-tank missiles,injuring four. UN sources said such an attack might have warranted an immediate response with Nato aircraft but it was "not a situation for air strikes".

On Monday night the UN hoped to evacuate the seriously wounded soldier by helicopter but clearance was slow in coming and he was eventually evacuated to Zagreb, more than 50 miles by road. Elsewhere in the Bihac pocket there was intense machine gun and small arms fire as Krajina Serb forces pushed towards Velika Kladusa in the north.

The Bosnian government attack on Mount Igman appears to have been aimed at securing a tortuous supply route over the mountain linking Sarajevo with the Bosnian government heartland to the west.

The route avoids Serb positions but can be hit by Serb artillery and missiles if not obscured. The Serbs are furious that the government forces have occupied much of Mount Igman and will be even more angry that an offensive has been launched in the so-called "demilitarised zone". They are likely to demand that the UN takes action against the Muslims.

The Sarajevo fuel situation "continued to be critical", the UN said. A fuel convoy got through yesterday but three Danish trucks carrying 30 tonnes of fuel, detained by the Bosnian Serbs west of the city, are still missing.