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U.S. Diplomat Wounded by Shot from Passing Car

July 13, 1996

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ A U.S. diplomat was shot from a passing car west of Sarajevo overnight, wounding her badly enough to require six hours of surgery, NATO and U.S. spokesmen said Saturday.

Jim Hutchison, press attache at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, said the woman was in good condition late Saturday at a hospital run by the NATO-led peace implementation force.

The State Department in Washington and the U.S. Embassy refused to identify the woman or specify the nature of her injuries, saying she had not signed a privacy waiver.

However, Hutchison and U.S. Army Maj. Thomas Moyer, a spokesman for the NATO-led force, said there were no indications that the shooting was politically motivated.

``It’s really a big mystery at this point,″ Hutchison said.

It was the first instance of a U.S. diplomat being injured by gunfire in Bosnia.

The woman is a foreign service officer temporarily assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo as an administrator, Hutchison said.

Moyer said the woman was shot while returning with her husband to the Bosnian capital from the Croat-controlled town of Kiseljak, about 15 miles away.

NATO officials first put the site of the shooting about three miles west of Sarajevo, but police later said it happened farther away from the capital _ about three miles east of Kiseljak. The site is in territory controlled by the Muslim-Croat federation.

Another NATO spokesman, Maj. Max Marriner, said the diplomat’s husband flagged down a NATO patrol, which escorted her to a mobile surgical team in the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidza. From there, she was taken to a hospital in Sarajevo, where she underwent surgery.

Marriner said the woman’s injury was not life-threatening.

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