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Also moved in advance as b0760 Two Lost Children Search for Mother With AM-Lost Children

July 16, 1994

SAVUDRIJA, Croatia (AP) _ Dina Hrbinic, 12, and her 10-year-old brother, Elvedin, have sent dozens of messages in the past two years to places their mother was rumored to be. They have had no answer.

Their father was killed in a mine accident in 1987. When war broke out in Bosnia, their mother, Magdula, was in a hospital in the southeastern Bosnian town of Foca. Bosnian Serbs seized control of Foca and expelled the Muslims, including Mrs. Hrbinic’s two children.

Dina and Elvedin fled with their uncle, Zaim Aljkic, his wife and two children. In April 1992, they trekked for two days through the woods to Crna Rijeka, a village 15 miles south of Sarajevo. Aljkic carried Elvedin, who has muscular dystrophy.

They found shelter with a Muslim family, but soon were on the move again, fording creeks and crossing the forests of Mount Igman until they reached a refugee hostel. From there, they walked to Konjic, were sent to Split by bus 15 days later, then brought to this Istrian coastal town June 26, 1992.

On the rumor network that feeds the hopes and fears of those uprooted by the war, Aljkic has heard variously that Mrs. Hrbinic was still in Foca; in Trnovo, south of Sarajevo, and in Gorazde, the eastern Muslim enclave where 700 people were reported killed by Serb shelling in April.

″Perhaps I want to find her more than the kids do,″ said Aljkic, because he and his wife must share out their meager resources to four children, not just their own two.

Dina recalls longing to visit her mother once more when war came to Foca, but finding the road to the hospital blocked. She left without even a photograph.

″I had no time to take any mementos, but I thought we would return soon and be with her again,″ Dina said. ″Now, I don’t know what to think. Will we ever find her?″

6-94 1128EDT

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