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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bosnian Croat Mob Blocks Return of Moslem Refugees

STOLAC, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- An angry mob of Bosnian Croats forced a group of Moslem refugees to cancel a ground-breaking return to their home town Friday, throwing stones and eggs at their bus.


The crowd of 200 people blocked the main road to the southern town of Stolac when a bus with nine Moslem families arrived for a long-delayed return to their pre-war homes.


Chanting "no more mosques, no more bowing prayers, no more Moslems," the Croats threw eggs indiscriminately at Moslem representatives, UN aid workers, officers for the NATO-led peace force and even their own Croat police.


The crowd was mostly school children and Croat refugees expelled from central towns during the 1992 to 1995 Bosnian war.


The nine Moslem families, forced out of Stolac by Croat separatists in 1993, were scheduled to return under supervision of UN police monitors and peacekeeping troops in the multinational Stabilization Force.


The incident dealt another blow to stalled efforts to bring refugees back to their pre-war homes and underlined persistent tensions within troubled Bosnia's Moslem-Croat federation. The peace treaty that ended the Bosnian war in November 1995 guarantees the right of those displaced by fighting to return home.


?In the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar, a Belgian corporal was killed and two other UN officials were injured in a shooting incident Friday, a UN spokesman said.


"An investigation was initiated and the UN and the Transitional Police Force arrested the suspect," said Philip Arnold, spokesman for the UN Transitional Administration in Eastern Slavonia.


This was the first UN soldier to be killed, except in traffic accidents, since the UN mission took control of the area in spring 1996.