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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Abdic Vows to Fight On

ZAGREB -- Separatist Moslem leader Fikret Abdic, facing military defeat in the northwestern Bosnian enclave of Bihac, pledged Wednesday to stay with his people in their fight for autonomy.


The UN reported Bosnian army troops were advancing on Abdic's headquarters. Yet in a telephone interview from his stronghold of Velika Kladusa, Abdic denied reports he had fled and rejected an amnesty offered by the Sarajevo government.


"It is impossible to part me from my people," Abdic said. "I will stay with my people to fight for autonomy ... We cannot be defeated, we are unbeatable."


He had offered to open talks with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic through the UN commander in Bosnia, Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Rose, but he said Izetbegovic had refused.


Abdic, a former member of the Bosnian presidency, fell out with Izetbegovic last year by urging peace with Serbs and Croats and declared an autonomy in part of his enclave.


Izetbegovic then ordered his Fifth Corps to quell the rebellion and capture Abdic, whom he called a traitor.


In a series of offensives, forces of the Fifth Corps have now taken the town of Pecigrad on the southern approaches to Velika Kladusa.