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NATO forces report they discovered a large amount of weapons and ammunition in Mostar, including grenade launchers and up to 6,000 mortar shells. The site, in a Muslim-controlled portion of the now-divided city, was believed to have been a weapons storage area during the war, BBC said. "Sfor spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Nicolas Rambaud said that if the cache, which totalled some 75 tonnes of ordnance, were to explode it would spread devastation over a wide area, with a crater some 100 metres across," the Telegraph newspaper of London reported. Another large amount of weapons was uncovered several weeks earlier in Mostar, when a new owner moved into a textile factory.
Bosnian officials have signed a $15 million contract with Siemens of Germany to print new identification documents that will be same throughout the country, Reuters reports in a story posted at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020430/tc _nm/tech_bosnia_siemens_dc_1 Those documents will include drivers licenses and ID cards, which are currently different in each of Bosnia's two entities.
For the first time since their loved ones were murdered ten years ago, Bosnian refugees returned to the town of Bratunac to "mourn at the sites where their men were rounded up and killed, and where their bodies were later dumped," AP reported. About 100 women arrived by bus from refugee camps in Sarajevo and Tuzla Saturday to mark the anniversary of the massacre, visiting a soccer stadium and an elementary school where hundreds of unarmed civilians were rounded up and slaughtered. "Tears poured down the cheeks of the women and a few sobs could be heard. One woman dropped to her knees, overwhelmed by her emotions. Friends rushed to her and offered a shoulder to cry on," the European edition of Stars & Stripes reported. " 'We are standing here 10 years later and it seems to us like it happened yesterday,' Sevala Halilovic, one of the mourners, said before she laid flowers in front of the door of the gymnasium where the Muslim men had been rounded up." "Local Serbs have long denied that the massacres ever took place," AP notes in a story posted at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020511/a p_wo_en_ge/bosnia_visiting_home_1 "But as the war grows more distant, some have begun to admit that atrocities were committed here." The Bosnians were arrested and executed although there had been no fighting in the town. On May 11, 1992, "men with megaphones ordered the Muslims to move out of the stadium through its main gate," wrote Chuck Sudetic in his book Blood and Vengeance: One Family's Story of the War in Bosnia "Outside, the Muslim men were separated from their wives and children. The air became a din of voices calling out names. . . . "Men who tried to linger with their families were beaten with clubs and metal bars. The women and children were packed aboard buses and trucks and driven over the mountains . . . "The Serbs ordered the 750 Muslim men left behind in Bratunac to line up in rows of four and march down the main street. ... The Muslims were marched to the yard of the primary school and told to kneel. Some of the men were beaten with wooden bats and electrical cables. "Then they were lined up, two-by-two, and marched into the gymnasium. ... In a garage behind the school, [one prisoner] saw stacks of corpses of Muslim men who had been abducted in Bratunac. Within three days, there would be 350 more. "The dead were eventually loaded aboard trucks and dumped into the Drina."
"Forty-one suspects are held at the UN detention centre in the Netherlands and judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have agreed that dispatching some suspects to be tried at home may be the best way to ease the logjam," the London-based Independent newspaper reports. "The tribunal, which is intending to complete its task by the end of 2008, is bursting at the seams." Trials for high-level suspects such as Slobodan Milosevic would remain in The Hague, the Independent said. "In the short term, only Bosnia and Herzegovina is likely to be able to meet the UN's required standards," the Independent noted, which would rule out any such trials in Serbia.
NATO plans to reduce its troops in Bosnia from 19,000 peacekeepers to about 12,000 by the end of this year, the alliance said in a statement posted at http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-064e.htm The cutbacks are due to "a great improvement in the security situation in the Balkans," the statement said. The Bush administration has long sought a pull-out of American troops from Bosnia, but U.S. officials have agreed they would not leave before America's European allies. "In January the international community's high representative in Bosnia, Wolfgang Petritsch, told NATO it should maintain its military presence," BBC recalled. "We have not yet reached the point of no return where Bosnia-Hercegovina would truly be a viable state that could stand alone," he said then.

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