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US Knocks Croat Leaders in Bosnia

March 20, 1999

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ The U.S. Embassy said it was ``deeply disappointed″ by the Bosnian Croat boycott of state and Muslim-Croat Federation institutions, and criticized the hard-liners’ push to establish a Croat mini-republic.

In a statement issued Friday, the U.S. officials said the recent behavior of Croat leaders raises doubts about their commitment to peace.

The Bosnian Croat leadership pulled out of all state and federation institutions on Thursday to protest a car-bomb attack on a Bosnian Croat official two days earlier.

They accused their Muslim partners in the federation of backing the attack and demanded the resignation of top Muslim leaders in federation departments _ a move U.S. officials called irresponsible.

The embassy said the Bosnian Croat demands were an attempt to take advantage of the attack and called them ``premature.″

The support of Ivo Andri-Luzanski, the Croat president of the Muslim-Croat Federation, for creation of a Croat entity in Bosnia is unacceptable, the embassy added.

The push for a third entity is led by the influential Croat war veterans’ organization. The international officials who govern Bosnia and are trying to instill democracy and restore a multiethnic society in the wake of Bosnia’s 1992-95 war have ruled it out.

In a sign of continuing tension in the Croat-majority part of Bosnia, BH radio reported Saturday that a Muslim house was blown up overnight in Stolac, south of Mostar. No injuries were reported.

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