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NATO PLANES RETALIATE FOR ATTACK ON U.N. TROOPS

NATO warplanes struck at Serb positions just outside Sarajevo Thursday in retaliation for a Bosnian Serb attack on U.N. peacekeepers, a U.N. official said.

A U.N. official in Zagreb, Croatia, who refused to be identified, said the attack followed a Serb assault on a light tank manned by French soldiers on U.N. duty northeast of the Bosnian capital. One French soldier was wounded.Maj. Herve Gourmelon, a U.N. spokesman in Sarajevo, confirmed that a strike had occurred but refused to provide details.

Bosnian Serbs who have besieged Sarajevo for the past 21/2 years pulled most of their heavy weapons away from the Bosnian capital in February, under threat of a NATO ultimatum and possible airstrikes.

Removal of the weapons has made life safer for Sarajevans, but not all big guns were removed or put under U.N. control. NATO struck on Aug. 5 to punish the Serbs for pulling weapons out of U.N.-guarded storage.

The United Nations is authorized to call on NATO jets for protection any time peacekeepers are attacked by any of the warring sides.

The Serbs hit the French tank with four rocket-propelled grenades shortly after it moved to observe fighting between govern- ment troops and the Serbs around Sedrenik, just northeast of Sarajevo, the U.N. official said.

One of the rounds slightly wounded one of the French soldiers.

There was no immediate confirmation from NATO.

There was no immediate word on what countries participated in the attack.

The attack came amid continuing defiance by Bosnian Serbs, who have rejected an international peace plan and alienated their traditional supporters in Serb-led Yugoslavia.

Previous NATO air attacks on Serb targets occurred April 10 and 11 around the eastern enclave of Gorazde, after besieging Serbs ignored repeated U.N. warnings to stop attacking. The assaults repeatedly imperiled U.N. peacekeepers and other personnel in the region.

About 200,000 people are missing or dead in the war, which began in April 1992 when Serbs rebelled against a vote by Muslims and Croats to leave Yugoslavia.