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Thursday, 7 June, 2001, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Work begins on Mostar bridge

Work has begun on the re-building of the historic Mostar bridge in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Hundreds of residents and scores of dignitaries came out to watch the start of work on the bridge's foundations after years of preparation.

It was destroyed by Bosnian Croat artillery in 1993 during the conflict with the country's Muslims.

It was built during the Ottoman Empire and had been a symbol of Muslim culture for four centuries.

It's hoped that the new bridge will be a close copy of the original. Parts of the destroyed bridged, fished out of the Neretva River, will be incorporated into the new structure.

Countries and organisations from around the world contributed over fifteen-million dollars in loans and donations to the project.

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