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UPDATED: February 6, 1996
Still, The Sniping Persists
(Sarajevo, February 5, 1996) Despite the killing of one sniper and the arrest of another (story below) NATO troops in the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidza continue to be harassed by sniper fire. In the latest incidents, two British soldiers received facial cuts when their vehicle was shot at. Their injuries are not serious, but the situation is. Earlier on Saturday, another IFOR vehicle was fired on by snipers. "Nobody was wounded," an IFOR spokesman, Lt. Col. Mark Rayner said, adding that five small arms rounds hit the vehicle while it was moving from the center of Sarajevo to Ilidza. He said IFOR troops did not return fire. According to Rayner, IFOR protested to civilian authorities in Ilidza, demanding that they prevent such incidents. Bosnian Serbs, angered over the return of Ilidza to the Muslim-led coalition government, are believed responsible for a rash of sniping incidents that NATO cannot seem to stop.

U.N. Troops Kill Sarajevo's Suburban Sniper
(Sarajevo, February 3, 1996) In the first combat fatality involving the NATO peacekeeping force now on the ground in Bosnia, French anti-sniper teams fired on two gunmen in the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidza Thursday night, killing one man and capturing another. When the first suspected sniper was seen about to fire his weapon, a French soldier shot him. The man died some time later. French NATO troops also disarmed another suspected sniper and turned him over to local authorities. Both men carried Bosnian Serb Army identity cards, reports the Voice of America, and both were in an area where neither Serb nor Bosnian Government soldiers are allowed. NATO hopes it has put an end to the series of ambushes it has taken in Ilidza. There, in the past week, a British soldier was injured by gunfire, a NATO Land Rover sprayed with bullets, and a U.S. Army officer grazed in the neck by a sniper's bullet. NATO beefed up security in Ilidza after the weekend attack, but incidents persisted.

"Several shots have been fired at our troops in recent days," said a NATO spokesman on Thursday. "In light of the increased danger to our troops there, a security operation was launched this evening with the aim of putting a stop to it. "We've got some jerk up there pulling a trigger, and he's got a night scope and that makes it tough," NATO commander Adm. Leighton Smith told reporters yesterday. "A guy like that can sit in the back of an apartment, shoot through a window and you'll never see him."

Smith gave NATO sharpshooters shoot-to-kill orders. "Any sniper who is spotted will be shot immediately," said Smith. "No warning shots, no 'Drop your weapon.' He will be attacked." Serbian forces must vacate Ilidza on Saturday in preparation for its transfer to Bosnian government control next month. The suburb had been the scene of candlelight demonstrations by Bosnian Serbs who feared reprisals from the Muslims about to regain control of all of metro Sarajevo.

Additional resources
NATO's World Wide Web Site and Gopher

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