Eighth UK soldier to die in conflict named: Balkan war claims another British victim

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The Independent Online
A BRITISH United Nations soldier was killed in central Bosnia yesterday, the eighth Briton and the 108th UN soldier to die in UN operations in former Yugoslavia.

The Ministry of Defence named the dead soldier as Sapper Barry John Nicholas, 20, single, from Dagenham, Essex. He was serving with the 201 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (Bomb Disposal) unit from 33 Regiment, Royal Engineers.

The UN yesterday refused to give a country-by-country breakdown of UN dead, which includes those killed in road accidents because, a spokesman said, it is a 'sensitive political issue. It is one of the reasons we don't compile a country-wide breakdown.' The French have taken the heaviest casualties, with about 40 dead. Two French soldiers were killed in January 1993, two killed and five wounded in September 1992 and three wounded in August 1992. Argentinian, Spanish, Canadian and Ukrainian soldiers are also among the UN soldiers killed in operations in former Yugoslavia.

Sapper Nicholas was supervising mine-clearance operations at Bistrica, north of Gornji Vakuf, when a large mine went off at 9.55am yesterday . Two Bosnian Croat soldiers are also understood to have been wounded, one fatally. Royal Engineers have been advising local forces on how to clear mines, as they did in Cambodia and may do in Rwanda, but do not get involved in mine-clearing themselves. This suggests that the mine was very large.

The Croat-Muslim war, which ended in February, has left a huge legacy of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines in central Bosnia - 2 to 3 million.