Fierce fighting strains peace flares up again
Bosnia ceasefire: Serb army shells Muslims in north-west as leaders argue over defeats defeat
Monday 16 October 1995
The government's elite 5th Corps said that Serbs shelled their defence lines near Sanski Most "with all available weapons" and Belgrade's Tanjug news agency said that "since early this morning fierce fighting has been in progress on the Sanski battlefront". In Sarajevo the UN spokesman Lt Col Chris Vernon said : "There is still military action, no doubt about it, but it is stable in terms of land movement." As towns fought over were important economically, the fighting was "not just about land gains."
Earlier yesterday, the front lines in northwest Bosnia had appeared quieter after government forces said they had halted an offensive that began last month and gained them thousands of square miles of territory. Victories by the Bosnian army in Sanski Most and Mrkonjic Grad have sown panic among Bosnian Serb leaders, who took the unusual step of inviting UN observers to inspect the front lines. Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader, reopened old wounds with his military commanders by blaming unnamed generals for the defeats.
UN monitors headed for Mrkonjic Grad last night; their arrival should improve the peace-keepers' ability to monitor the cease-fire and report breaches. Hostility between the warring armies is fiercest in north- west Bosnia, where Serbs earlier killed or expelled thousands of Muslims.
The UN, if it is allowed access on the government side, will want to investigate reports of recent atrocities and older mass graves on territory lost by the Serbs. Bosnian troops took journalists to see 14 bodies, dead for several weeks, at two sites near Sanski Most. They suggested they were Muslims used as slave labour and shot by retreating Serb forces.
Emir Karic, a Sanski Most official, said about 300 men were unaccounted for and feared dead: "The Serbs briefly withdrew from Sanski Most over a month ago but after two days came back to harass the Muslims. They expelled about 2,000 women and children to Zenica and Travnik. They kept about 1,000 men." He added that half of those had been forced to withdraw with the Serbs. "We found 200 alive here and 300 are feared killed. We have already found and identified 100 bodies in various locations."
The ground between Prijedor - still in Serb hands - Sanski Most and Mrkonjic Grad, which once formed a defensive line around the Serb stronghold of Banja Luka, is infamous for atrocities committed against Muslims in 1992.
n Mons, Belgium (Reuter) - Russia and Nato got down to the details yesterday of planning a 60,000-strong force to implement an eventual Bosnia peace settlement. Russia has offered up to 20,000 troops but has insisted that they will not come under direct Nato control.
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Edgar Froese dead: Tangerine Dream founder dies aged 70
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...