Explosions Rock TV Tower, Apartment Building in Sarajevo
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ A Serb missile hit the TV building in Sarajevo today and another explosion rocked a nearby apartment building. At least four people were killed and dozens wounded in the latest attacks, underscoring the failure of efforts to restart peace talks.
Serb rebels have been shelling Sarajevo in apparent retaliation for an offensive started June 15 by the Muslim-led government army to crack the 3-year-old siege of the capital.
At least one person was killed and 38 wounded in the hit on the TV tower, which destroyed several stories of the reinforced concrete building. Bosnian and foreign journalists were among the casualties.
Video aired shortly afterward showed people with bloodied faces being led through a maze of broken glass, broken furniture and twisted metal.
Lt. Col. Gerard Dubois, a U.N. spokesman, said the TV tower was hit by Serb fire. ``We don’t know at this stage if it was a rocket or a high caliber mortar,″ he said an hour after the explosion.
About the same time, another explosion hit an apartment building across the street, reportedly killing at least three people.
Shelling continued this morning, most of it outgoing fire from government positions.
Shelling and sniping in the Bosnian capital killed two people and wounded 15 others on Tuesday, including an 11-year-old boy killed by a shell near the town center.
The Serbs claim they have pushed back the government offensive. But Bosnian government officials say they did not intend to break the siege in one stroke. Instead, they say, the campaign will last all summer.
The heaviest fighting in Bosnia on Tuesday was an artillery duel around Serb-held Hadzici, about 15 miles southwest of Sarajevo. Government troops have been attacking the town and surrounding heights as part of their offensive.
``We are more likely heading for more war than for peace,″ European Union negotiator Carl Bildt said Tuesday.
The EU urged the rebel Serbs, the Muslim-led government and their Croat allies to return to the negotiating table. But both Bosnian Foreign Minister Mohamed Sacirbey and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said their conditions for talks were unchanged.
All diplomatic efforts have faltered over a plan that would give a Muslim-Croat federation 51 percent of Bosnia and leave Serbs, who now control about two-thirds of the country, with 49 percent.
The government accepted the plan, but the Serbs rejected it.
Bosnia’s civil war began in 1992 when Bosnian Serb nationalists, armed by the Serb-led Yugoslav army, rebelled against a vote by Muslims and Croats to secede from Yugoslavia.
Witnesses said the Associated Press Television office in the TV tower was destroyed in today’s attack and at least two wounded APTV staffers were taken to a hospital. A CNN employee was undergoing surgery at the French U.N. hospital, Dubois said.
The TV center had been considered relatively safe, although it had been hit several times before in the 38-month-old war.