First train from Sarajevo since 1992

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The Independent Online
A boy waves as the first train from Sarajevo since the Bosnian civil war started in 1992 leaves for the suburb of Alipasin Most. "We restored the service to ease the tram and bus traffic and to boost the spirits of the people," said Midhat Terzic , technical manager of the Bosnian railway company. "We expect about 2,000 people to use it daily." The service restores a four-mile line connecting the station in the centre of the city to the suburb. Meanwhile in Brussels Nato military planners agreed to sound out Croatia on how it could assist in a possible withdrawal of UN peace-keepers from Bosnia. Alliance sources said planners wanted to make progress on establishing the required communications network, but ruled out any dispatch of Nato ground fo rces at this stage. Croatian help would be needed if Nato were to organise the withdrawal of Unprofor from Bosnia, but the issue is closely linked with a threatened withdrawal of UN "blue helmets" from Croatia. President Franjo Tudjman has said he will n ot renew a mandate for UN forces after 31 March. The Croatian Serb "parliament" in Knin voted last night to break off political and economic talks with Zagreb to protest against that decision.

Photograph: AFP