First Sarajevo Breadline Massacre, Serbs kill 20, injure 100
“We had to end these negotiations because of these monstrous acts on the part of these [Serb] terrorists.” – Haris Silajdzic, Bosnia’s foreign minister.
28 May 1992.
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia — The European Community imposed trade sanctions on Serbia on Wednesday to stop its interference in Bosnia, which pleaded for foreign intervention after a gruesome mortar attack on an outdoor market.
At least 20 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when three mortar shells fell Wednesday morning on a market where they were standing in line for bread, said Ejup Ganic, Bosnia’s deputy premier.
The market on Sime Miskin Street was strewn with scores of bleeding people, with corpses and weeping men and women with torn-off limbs.
Sarajevo TV showed an elderly man, still clutching his bread, leaning helplessly against the wall with blood pouring from his face. A women sitting in streams of blood reached out feebly for help.
It was not certain who fired the shells, but Bosnian and Croatian media said the firing came from positions held by Serb irregulars on the hills overlooking the bombed-out Bosnian capital.
Peace talks among Bosnia’s warring ethnic groups collapsed in Lisbon, Portugal.
“We had to end these negotiations because of these monstrous acts on the part of these terrorists,” said Haris Silajdzic, the chief Bosniak delegate and Bosnia’s foreign minister.
Serb leader Radovan Karadzic reporter that the mortar attack “came from the Muslim side to harm these negotiations.” [note: Serb terrorists regularly blamed the Bosniak side in the besieged Sarajevo for bombing themselves]
On Sarajevo TV, President Alija Izetbegovic urged all Bosnians, regardless of ethnic background, “to rise up and defend the republic against criminals.”
Bosnian Defense Minister Jerko Doko said the U.S. 6th Fleet should “come and help us chase out everyone who is not from Bosnia-Herzegovina,” the Bosnian BH Press Agency said.
More than 2,000 people have died fighting that erupted after Slavic Muslims [Bosniaks] and Croats, nearly 60 percent of Bosnia’s 4.3 million people, voted to create an independent Bosnia.
An additional 18,400 have been injured and more than 1 million left homeless, the Belgrade-based news agency Tanjug reported.
Leaders of Bosnia’s Serbian community oppose independence, and Serb militias have seized control of about two-thirds of Bosnia-Herzegovina with the help of the Serb-led federal army.
Serbia and its ally Montenegro are the only republics that remain in Yugoslavia.
The 10 a.m. mortar attack shattered a Russian-mediated truce that took effect four hours earlier.
It helped prompt the 12-nation EC decide to impose sanctions which suspend trade with Belgrade as of next Monday, suspend scientific and technical cooperation adn freeze export credits.
The EC asked the U.N. Security Council to “adopt similar measures,” plus an oil embargo and a freeze on Belgrade’s financial assets abroad. Other EC states are expected to follow the example of the United States, Germany and Italy by suspending air services to Belgrade.
In New York, U.S. and European U.N. diplomats were drafting a Security Council resolution branding Serbia a world outcast. Sir David Hannay, Britain’s ambassador, and other members said a council vote on a sanctions resolution may be held Friday.
One diplomat said it would be modeled after measures the council adopted in August 1990 to try to pressure Iraq to withdraw its forces from Kuwait.
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