Berserkistan Navigator NATO Grounds Bosnian
Military Aircraft

Finds ammunition on a plane that
should have been carrying passengers

MAP: Zenica SARAJEVO, July 15 (Reuters) - NATO said on Monday it had grounded Bosnian government military aircraft after finding four anti-tank weapons and ammunition aboard a helicopter that should have been carrying passengers. NATO peace force spokesman Major Brett Boudreau said the incident in the Muslim-controlled eastern town of Gorazde was a flagrant violation of a ban on weaponry outside closely monitored storage sites.

"Yesterday afternoon a Portuguese (NATO) patrol arrived in Gorazde to monitor an authorised helicopter flight from Zenica. Inside, rather than the 24 passengers it had been authorised to carry, there were four 75mm anti-tank weapons and 148 rounds of anti-tank ammunition," Boudreau told a news conference in Sarajevo.

"The weapons and ammunition were just in the process of being transferred from the helicopter to a civilian vehicle. So needless to say it was all seized and taken to an IFOR (NATO peace Implementation Force) base near Gorazde," he said. "As a result, all (Bosnian government military) rotary and fixed-wing flights are banned immediately and until further notice."

Previous violations of IFOR's weapons regime in Bosnia have mainly been in Serb-held areas. Last Friday, Italian and French forces seized two Bosnian Serb 130 mm guns found outside an approved storage site in Zljebovi, close to Mladic's base town of Han Pijesak near Sarajevo. And a week earlier, IFOR troops and Bosnian Serb forces were locked in a tense face-off over several tanks and armoured personnel carriers deployed near Mladic's fortified lair but outside a nearby approved storage site.

An IFOR demand for the return of the weapons to storage elicited Serb threats. U.S. ground troops backed by fighter aircraft and ground-attack helicopters zeroed in on Han Pijesak over the next two days to press IFOR's point. The Serbs finally shifted the weaponry back into storage but a subsequent U.S. army effort to inspect the site attracted angry Serb civilians who, believing they were trying to arrest Mladic, stoned, jostled and cursed the Americans.

To learn more...
Berserkistan, July 13 · NATO Nabs Heavy Arms Near Mladicís Camp
System tracks aircraft supporting Bosnia missions Lt. Justin Smalley, USAF

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