Bosnian Genocide: Gorazde Massacre Death Toll 389 Dead and 1,324 Wounded
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnian Serbs raked Gorazde with artillery shells, rockets and heavy machine guns, blasting the hospital from close range as doctors begged for help.
“Please do something that we stay alive. We cannot stand this anymore,” said Dr. Aldijana Rebic, sobbing over ham radio.
Ten people were killed when Serb shells hit the hospital Wednesday.
The hospital’s director said Serb tanks were firing from only 100 yards away at the building which had its roof blown off Tuesday. “This is not war anymore. This is slaughter, massacre,” Dr. Alija Begic said.
The Serbs have openly defied the United Nations over Gorazde, promising truces while advancing into the enclave and shelling the Muslim-held town of 65,000.
At least 44 people, including 15 children, were killed Wednesday, said a U.N. spokesman in Sarajevo, Kris Janowski, quoting aid workers there. That raised the casualty toll to 389 dead and 1,324 wounded since Serb offensive began three weeks ago.
President Clinton on Wednesday urged NATO to “make the Serbs pay a higher price for the continued violence” by authorizing air strikes to protect all six U.N. havens. He urged NATO to ban all heavy weapons from Gorazde and other designated areas, as was done last month to break the siege of Sarajevo.
But NATO on Wednesday delayed authorizing air raids to protect civilians in Gorazde and five other U.N.-declared safe havens.
The U.N. Security Council was meeting today to consider adding 7,000 peacekeeping troops to the 34,000 already in former Yugoslavia, but there was no guarantee they would take action.
Security Council President Colin Keating, the ambassador of New Zealand, told reporters Wednesday night that the council would adopt a resolution condemning Serb aggression.
Bosnian U.N. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey asked: “And what do we do about the rest of Bosnia? Bosnia is not made up of six safe areas. Who will defend those?”
The crisis has stymied efforts to turn a truce in Sarajevo, the capital, into a wider cease-fire to end the 2-year Bosnian war. The Serb stand has been a stinging slap at the United Nations, the United States and traditionally Serb-allied Russia.
In an interview Wednesday evening on CNN, Serb leader Radovan Karadzic reiterated Serb claims that the Serbs were responding to Bosniak attacks from Gorazde. U.N. Officials have said the Serbs clearly launched the offensive.
Karadzic also denied the Serbs have broken promises to stop fighting and accused the West of supporting the Muslims.
NATO bombings and expanded sanctions against the Serbs will not help end the fighting, he said. Two NATO minor bombing raids on Serb armored vehicles outside Gorazde last week did not deter the Serb advance.
Late Tuesday, Karadzic had declared peace in Gorazde and the speaker of the self-styled Bosnian Serb assembly had signed a truce accord. But the Serb attack continued.
Serb troops have three times in recent days ignored promises by their political leaders to end the fighting in Gorazde, 35 miles southeast of Sarajevo.
In Brussels, Belgium, NATO tentatively agreed to an expanded military role but delayed a final decision while military experts studied options for using air power. Diplomats said that could take a few days.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin cautioned Wednesday against military intervention in Bosnia without consideration by the Security Council.