Serbs Continue to Slaughter Bosniak Children in Sarajevo
Six children Killed in shelling on Sarajevo
The Southeast Missourian, p.5A
23 January 1994.
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina — The sun glistened on new snow, and after a week of relative quiet in Bosnia’s besieged capital, children were out sledding and skating. Then the shells slammed down Saturday.
Six children died, hospital and morgue workers said. At least three children-suffered serious wounds and one adult was injured.
Parents frantically got their children off the streets. Although there was no sustained bombardment, the Bosniak-led government immediately put the city back on general alert, a warning for people to stay indoors.
In Alipasino Polje, the western Sarajevo neighbourhood where the deaths occurred, witnesses said at least four shells exploded around 1 p.m. Scores of children were outside sledding on snowy hills and skating in the icy streets.
Snow was scarlet with blood or blackened by the explosions. Blood stained a child’s sled.
“We were out, we were sliding, when all of a sudden a shell landed,” said Muhamed Kapetanovic, 10, in an interview shown on Bosnian television.
“We started running away, and another shell landed between us Danijel was killed on the spot and I was wounded in four places,” he cried as he lay on a stretcher, his face bandaged.
Hospital officials and witnesses said the bodies were shredded by shrapnel and one was decapitated.
“I’ve seen hundreds of corpses but I never saw something like this,” said Redzo Grabovica, a worker at the Kosevo Hospital morgue.
Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic protested the attack in a letter to U.S. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
“This act humiliates the international community, mocks the dignity of the United Nations and renders senselles all of our efforts to reach peace through negotiations,” he said in the letter.
“These children, Mr. Ghali, were playing in a United Nations ‘safe zone’…. only 200 meters from the main Sarajevo headquarters of the United Nations military force.”