BUGOJNO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ Thousands of Croats returned to their Muslim-held hometown for an election rally Tuesday, vowing to one day return for good.

Despite a heavy police presence, residents threw stones at the 6,000 Croats as they arrived by bus. No one was hurt, and the rally otherwise passed peacefully.

Tensions persist between Muslims and Croats, who fought over Bugojno and much of central Bosnia between 1993-94. The Dayton peace plan joined Muslims and Croats in a federation to rule half of Bosnia, but problems remain in resettling people who fled fighting.

Although the peace accord that ended Bosnia's 3 1/2-year war guaranteed that displaced people would be able to return home, few refugees have come back for fear they will be attacked.

The chief of the main Croat party, Bozo Rajic, urged Bosnia's Muslim president to open Bugojno and other towns for the Croats to return. In turn, the Croats would open towns they control, Rajic said.

``Let all of these people have some peace, finally,'' he said.

Resettlement within the federation has become a crucial issue as Bosnia's Sept. 14 elections approach. Political leaders want refugees to cross former lines of confrontation to vote in communities where they lived before the war.

An estimated 2.5 million of Bosnia's 3 million people were uprooted from their homes during the war. Only a fraction have returned home.

Bugojno was badly damaged by the Muslim-Croat fighting, and only about 1,000 of the 16,000 Croats who once lived here remain.