Rocket blasts Sarajevo

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The Independent Online
An hour after the UN condemned the Bosnian Serbs' indiscriminate use of modified aircraft bombs against civilian targets, another 500lb bomb crashed into the main street in western Sarajevo, only 60m from the television centre that took a direct hit on Wednesday.

Yesterday's bomb landed harmlessly, leaving a huge crater, but one person was killed and nine wounded in other artillery attacks on the city.

A French peace-keeper died yesterday - the 20th French soldier to be killed in the conflict, when a UN vehicle hit a mine in the government- held suburb of Butmir, near Sarajevo airport.

A Bosnian policeman was killed and 33 people were wounded, many of them journalists, when an aircraft bomb strapped to rockets hit the television centre. It was the first time artillery had penetrated the building, considered the safest place in Sarajevo. Yesterday the crews were clearing up, and piles of glass and masonry cluttered the halls. As we arrived at the building to examine the clean-up, a huge explosion rocked the concrete fortress, sending us scurrying for shelter.

In Washington, President Bill Clinton by-passed Congress and committed $15m (pounds 10m) from existing Pentagon funds to help pay for the United Nations rapid-reaction force in Bosnia.

The White House press secretary, Mike McCurry, acknowledged this was a tiny fraction of the $350m the 12,000-strong British and French force was expected to cost over the next six months.

Mr Clinton promised to support the new UN force at the G-7 summit in Canada two weeks ago, but ran into opposition from the US Congress, where Republican leaders said that they would not approve what they considered a poor investment.