clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

BARRAGE OF ARTILLERY ENDANGERS ACCORD THAT COULD REVIVE AID FLIGHTS

Bosnia's warring factions signed an accord Saturday that could restart relief flights, but an artillery barrage later set the parliament building aflame and threw the pact into question.

At the United Nations, the Security Council voted to recommend that Yugoslavia's voting rights in the General Assembly be suspended. The action was taken to punish Yugoslavia for its role in Bosnia's civil war, and must be ratified by the General Assembly.At peace talks in Geneva, Muslim, Croat and Serb leaders signed an agreement meant to protect relief flights and overland convoys, and airlifts to Bosnia's besieged capital could resume by midweek, U.N. officials said. The flights were suspended Sept. 3 when an Italian relief plane was shot down, killing all four crew members.

But the gesture of good will was not matched at home, where Serbs and Croats battled for more territory to strengthen their bargaining positions at the peace talks.

The parliament building in downtown Sarajevo came under relentless artillery fire as night fell.

Half of the building already had been burned out from previous attacks. The latest barrage appeared to come from Serb hillside positions.

Flames shot out of windows of the parliament building from the 10th floor and higher. Tracers smashed into the structure, followed by cannon shells that tore off chunks of the building and hurled them up to 200 yards.

The building was no longer used because it was too badly damaged in previous attacks.

The nearby Holiday Inn, where most foreign journalists are staying, took two hits. No injuries were reported.

Earlier, Muslim-led government troops said they were clinging to their positions in two Sarajevo suburbs, Stup to the west and Zuc to the north.

If Serbs capture the center of Stup, they will isolate a pocket of Bosnian defenders to the southwest and dominate the road to the airport. If government forces expand their hold, they are closer to breaking the Serb siege by linking up with other troops outside Sarajevo.

Bosnia disintegrated into civil war after Muslims and Croats voted Feb. 29 for independence from Yugoslavia. Serb forces, backed by Serbia and the Serb-led Yugoslav military, proclaimed their own self-rule and have seized about two-thirds of the republic's territory.

Since fighting began in April, at least 10,000 people have been killed, and Europe is dealing with more refugees than at any time since World War II.

The Bosnian government said Saturday that 53 people were killed and 295 wounded across Bosnia during the previous 24 hours. The casualty figure included 21 dead and 170 wounded in Sarajevo.