ON THIS DAY    1 June      Graphics version >>   BBC News >>
Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
1993: Serb attack on football match kills 11

VIDEO : Report from the scene of the attack

Eleven people have died after Serb forces shelled artillery onto a holiday football match in Bosnia.

Four children were among the dead, and 100 were injured on the makeshift pitch in the Sarajevo suburb of Dobrinja.

Several hundred men, women and children were watching the football match when the first shell landed on the pitch. A second hit a few minutes later, wounding those who had gone to help victims of the first.

Dr Mufid Lazovic, a Sarajevo surgeon, said: "Today we have a very bad day, a lot of injury to patients and a lot of injury to civilians and children."

Although the suburb is used to shelling, the residents believed the high blocks of flats surrounding the pitch would be enough to protect them from Serb artillery. Many now believe the game was deliberately targeted.


"A lot of injury to civilians and children"

Surgeon Dr Mufid Lazovic

The attack came on one of the most important muslim festivals of the year. The area is supposed to be in one of the UN's "safe areas" - a term scornfully dismissed by Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, whose government says they are nothing more than death traps.

It accuses the international community of appeasing Bosnian Serbs and warns that without a change of policy the slaughter of Muslims will continue.

Cedric Thornberry, of the UN protection force, defended the concept of safe areas, saying: "The difficulty we face is not only question of co-operation of the parties but the fact that we are terribly thin on the ground and governments are not at this point tumbling over themselves to provide us with more troops".

UK Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd said he hoped there would be a UN Security Council resolution on secure havens in Bosnia imminently.

In Context
The attack on the suburb of Dobrinja was followed by an even worse massacre in 1995, when the 'safe haven' of Srebrenica was overrun by the Bosnian Serb forces of General Ratko Mladic.

Thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys were separated from their families and slaughtered, despite the presence of Dutch UN troops.

The Bosnian Croats seized large parts of territory previously occupied by the Bosnian Serbs.

In 1995 the Dayton peace accord was signed in Paris, creating two entities of roughly equal size, one for Bosnian Muslims and Croats, the other for Serbs.

An international peacekeeping force was deployed, signalling the start of a new era for Bosnia.


Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
^^ Back to top |