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Serbs routed in heavy fighting

Sarajevo - Intense combat was reported in north-eastern Bosnia yesterday, the fourth day of a government offensive in which Serbian forces may have lost strategic ground and a key communications tower, a UN spokesman said.

"The situation is assessed as full combat, not as a ceasefire violation," said Alexander Ivanko, who added the fighting represented the biggest breach of a country-wide truce since the pact was signed in late December.

Yesterday's battles were spread along a broad area running from north- east of the government-held city of Tuzla past Stolice to Kalesija east of the city. Battle assessments were sketchy because the Bosnian army has severely restricted movements of UN peacekeepers in the area of the fighting. Reuter