Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Croatian Mines Wound Peacekeepers U.N. Forces' Commander Issues a Bitter Protest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Croatian Mines Wound Peacekeepers U.N. Forces' Commander Issues a Bitter Protest

Article excerpt

CROATIAN MINES wounded four French peacekeepers, sparking a bitter protest Sunday from the commander of U.N. forces in what was Yugoslavia.

Two of the French soldiers were wounded Saturday when a mine exploded in the Medak region of southern Croatia, a U.N. statement said.

Canadian and French forces who came to the rescue in armored personnel carriers were fired on by Croatian soldiers, and two more French soldiers were wounded when one of the vehicles hit another mine, the statement said.

"It is indefensible for U.N. peacekeepers to be attacked by the parties whom we are here to help," said French Gen. Jean Cot, the U.N. commander. He made his protest to Croatian Gen. Janko Bobetko.

"It is even more incomprehensible when peacekeepers are engaged in medical evacuation," he added.

Croats are unhappy with the U.N.'s role as a buffer between them and the Serbs, who captured a third of Croatia in a 1991 conflict following Croatia's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia. …

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