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Croatia Calls For EC Monitoring of Truce

July 16, 1991

ZAGREB, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Croatia on Tuesday demanded that a European Community team monitoring a cease-fire in Slovenia also be sent to Croatia, the scene of ongoing ethnic violence.

A Croatian policeman was killed in a mortar attack Tuesday and two members of a foreign television crew, including an American, came under fire and were slightly injured while driving in the Croatian countryside.

Yugoslavia’s eight-member presidency had scheduled a meeting Tuesday to discuss the Yugoslav crisis, but the meeting collapsed when several republics refused to attend. Another meeting was called for Wednesday.

The pro-Western republics of Croatia and Slovenia declared independence June 25, capping a long quarrel with Serbia, the largest republic, over the future of the Yugoslav federation. Fighting broke out, mainly in Slovenia, leaving more than 60 dead.

Leaders of the seven leading industrialized nations, meeting in London, called on all parties in the crisis to abide by a European Community-brokered truce in the fighting, which was reached July 8.

The first 20 EC observers arrived Monday in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital.

The EC mission chief, Dutch diplomat Jo Van der Valk, said that while the team is to be based in Zagreb, its mandate for the time being is to monitor the cease-fire between federal troops and local forces in Slovenia. It will not monitor the fighting in Croatia, he said.

But Croatia’s foreign minister, Davorin Rudolf, said his government would demand the EC observers monitor the situation in Croatia. He noted there has been no combat in Slovenia in two weeks, but daily clashes in Croatia.

Most of the fighting in Croatia has been ethnic strife pitting Croats against ethnic Serbs, although the federal army has intervened in some recent battles.

A Croatian plan announced Monday to turn Yugoslavia into a loose association of independent states was sent to European and Yugoslav republican governments, Rudolf said.

At least five Croatian security officers have been killed in fighting since Sunday. The information department of the Serbian province of Vojvodina said 12,990 Serbs have fled Croatia in the past several weeks.

On Tuesday, a policeman was killed in a mortar attack on a police station in Vidusevac, 30 miles south of Zagreb, Croatian police said. A second mortar attack was reported in a nearby village, Divusa, but there were no reports of injuries there.

The two cameramen for Worldwide Television News came under fire while driving about 50 miles south of Zagreb, between the villages of Dvor na Uni and Kostanjica.

Their car veered off the road and flipped three times. American cameraman Peter Salvage, 28, of Massachusetts, was bruised in the crash, said cameraman Patrick Ritter of the German ZDF network, who was traveling in a second car.

Ritter said the Yugoslav member of the WTN crew, Ivan Stankovic, 34, was knicked in the jaw by a bullet and may have broken a leg.

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