Serbs massacre 12, maim 15 women, children and elderly lined up for Sarajevo water
“The Serbs just lure us out of our homes by cutting off the water supplies so they can massacre us… I saw it, heads and limbs flew everywhere. I’ve never seen anything so awful.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p.A3.
13 July 1993.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (REUTERS) — Serb forces besieging the Bosnian capital lobbed amortar shell onto a group of people lining up for water at a garden pump yesterday, killing 12 and wounding 15, hospital and police officials said.
“The Serbs just lure us out of our homes by cutting off the water supplies so they can massacre us,” sobbed Dervisa Fazlic as doctors dressed a wound in her arm.
“This is our reality. This i not life. But what can be done?” said Visnja Tufekdzic as she grimly cleaned and wrapped the body of two friends, a mother and teen-age daughter, in a cement shack serving as a makeshift morgue.
The afternoon attack, unreported for two hours because a power blackout cut Sarajevo’s phone lines, was the latest episode in a Serb reign of terror in the Bosnian capital.
Sarajevo’s water mains ran dry a few weeks ago, forcing many more people out into the streets to line up at wells potentially exploded to artillery or mortar fire from Serbs encircling the city only a few hundred yards away.
Several dozen men, women and children were lined up at the garden well pump in the front-line high-rise district of Dobrinja when a single 82mm mortar struck, a Bosnian government police inspector at the scene said.
“It directly hit a 50-year-old woman and ripped her to pieces,” inspector Bakir Germanovic said as workers swept puddles of blood into a sewer drain, past three bodies laid on stretchers.
“I saw it, heads and limbs flew everywhere. I’ve never seen anything so awful,” said Bakar Memija who lived nearby.
Germanovic said the mortar bomb was a blind shot lobbed over a few hundred yards of already bomb-cratered appartment buildings from Serb front lines in the suburb of Nedzarici.
Anger also welled among Dobrinja residents after the assault, and not just against the Serbs.
Youths hurled rocks at foreign journalists’ white armored landrovers, mistaking them for vehicles of U.N. peacekeeping troops whose impotence in the prolonged siege have turned them into local pariahs.
In June, a Serb mortar attack on a Dobrinja parking lot killed 15 people and wounded 110. Dozens have died in bread and water lines in other similar attacks.