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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sarajevo Evacuation Stops, Lurches

SARAJEVO -- The planned evacuation of thousands of people from Sarajevo appeared to be moving again on Wednesday after it was halted by the local military commander on security grounds.

In the besieged city, battered by seven months of fighting, rival Moslem, Croat and Serb forces refrained from major action ahead of a ceasefire due to come into force at midnight, Bosnian radio reported.

Elsewhere in the Yugoslav ethnic cauldron, fears of another eruption came from Pristina, capital of Serbia's troubled province of Kosovo, "Swhich has a majority Albanian population. A civilian died and two soldiers were wounded in a shooting incident outside the Yugoslav Army headquarters there.

The Bosnian military commander, Sefer Halilovic, citing security concerns, ordered a halt to convoys leaving Sarajevo on Tuesday after 1, 500 Moslems and Croats had left for the Croatian Adriatic town of Split and a bus load of Serbs had headed north for Belgrade.

Hundreds of other people wanting to go to Belgrade were left milling around the city center after the Red Cross, which is organizing the exodus, failed to provide any more buses or drivers.

After spending the night in freezing cold outside the main railway station, one bus and six cars left for Belgrade just after midday on Wednesday, and the Red Cross assured the waiting crowd other buses were on the way and they would all get out.

As was the case on Tuesday, most of the evacuees were elderly who said they were as much concerned about surviving the winter as the war.

The Bosnian Red Cross expects to remove 6, 000 people altogether, but not able-bodied men of fighting age, 18 to 60, who have been banned from leaving.