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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shelling Fails to Stall Truce

SARAJEVO -- Bosnia's Moslem-led government was close to a comprehensive cease-fire with Serbs on Thursday despite a mortar attack that killed two men in Sarajevo.


Vice President Ejup Ganic said after talks with United Nations envoy Yasushi Akashi that "we hope the cease-fire will be starting more or less on schedule" at noon Friday.


Akashi, who later went to Serb headquarters at Pale, told reporters: "We are very close to agreeing on the text of a comprehensive cease-fire agreement."


He acknowledged that groundwork for the talks had been laid by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, who negotiated Friday's deadline with Moslem and Bosnian Serb leaders when he visited Sarajevo this week.


The UN and the Bosnian government appeared determined not to be blown off course by the morning attack on the marke. Two men, aged 23 and 38, were killed instantly and seven other people were hurt, two of them seriously.


UN spokesman Michael Williams cautiously indicated that Serbs were to blame, telling reporters: "Initial reports on the incident in Sarajevo would appear to indicate that the mortar fire came from the Grbavica area of the city which is basically in Serb hands."


The Bosnian Serb Army denied responsibility and accused the Moslems of attacking themselves to upset the cease-fire and blame Serbs.


The main obstacle to the cease-fire taking place was Serb insistence that reluctant Moslem forces withdraw from Mount Igman, west of Sarajevo, where they are guarding the only free road to the capital that Moslems control.