UN cuts back Bosnia convoys after attacks

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SARAJEVO (AP) - The United Nations yesterday said it was cutting back convoys to embattled cities in Bosnia after three attacks, one fatal, on the trucks that bring food and fuel to much of the republic. The announcement came as fighting continued in Bosnia and Croatia, where Serbs were reported to be attacking Croatian defence lines despite suffering considerable losses on Tuesday in the struggle for the Serb-held Krajina region.

The road from Sarajevo to Mostar, in south-west Bosnia, has been closed to all convoys from the UN High Commissioner for Refugeees (UNHCR) until it gets assurances of safety and an explanation for an attack on Tuesday in which a local translator was killed and a Danish convoy leader severely wounded when a mortar shell hit the convoy north of Mostar. UN relief trucks would have to take time-consuming alternate routes or simply not go to war zones, a UNHCR spokesman said.

This means convoys for Sarajevo, which already is not getting its minimum of 270 tons of food a day, will consist of trucks with only light loads travelling roads that take twice as long. UN officials are having to dip into food stocks.

Sarajevo has had no deliveries of diesel fuel since 22 January because of fighting between Croat and Bosnian government forces, once allies, in central Bosnia. A Croatian army spokesman said Serbian artillery again shelled the centre of Mostar yesterday and attacked the whole defence line, but the Croats responded and were holding their positions.

In Washington, the US State Department said that the Bosnian-Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, will be allowed to move only within a 10-block radius of UN headquarters during his visit to New York for peace talks.