HEAVY fighting raged today for the fifth day running around the
Croat-held Orasje pocket bordering a vital Serb corridor in northern
Bosnia, local and United Nations sources reported.
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UN military observers in the area recorded some 2000 detonations and
said Bosnian Croats had fired 60 rockets on the Bosnian Serb territory
since the morning.
Iljo Dominkovic, spokesman for the Bosnian Croat forces in Orasje,
told Reuters in a telephone interview that the pocket ''has seen one of
the worst days of fighting.''
He said some 5000 shells and two Russian-made Luna-type
ground-to-ground missiles hit Croat defence lines. The fiercest battle
was for control of the village of Vidovice, on the eastern part of the
Dominkovic said Bosnian Serbs attempted a combined tank and infantry
attack from three directions, using 10 tanks, several APCs (Armoured
Personnel Carriers), and several hundred soldiers, but the attack was
''There have also been hand-to-hand fighting, but our troops managed
to keep the defence lines, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy,'' he
Dominkovic said four Serb tanks and an armoured personnel carrier were
destroyed while more than 50 Serb soldiers have been killed.
Two Bosnian Croat soldiers were killed and another five wounded in the
fighting. There was no independent confirmation of Dominkovic's report.
The Croatian news agency Hina said Bosnian Serb forces shelled the
town of Zupanja and the village of Bosnjaci in eastern Croatia, causing
much damage. It said there were no reports of casualties.
The Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA said that Croatian forces had been
shelling the Bosnian Serb port town of Brcko from their positions in
Rajevo Selo and Podgajci Posavski in Croatia. It said Orasje Croats
fired six rockets on the town.
SRNA said Brcko sustained ''substantial damage'' but reported no
The Bosnian Croat news agency, quoting local military sources, said
Bosnian Serbs were shelling civilian targets in Orasje and were
attempting to pierce the Croat defence lines on the western edge of the
The Orasje pocket forms a troublesome Croat bridgehead south of the
river Sava, close to a vital Serb corridor linking separatist Serb
enclaves in Croatia and Bosnia with Serbia, their only supply source.
Bosnian Serbs apparently want to widen the corridor in preparation for
decisive battles elsewhere in Bosnia and Croatia, local Croat and UN
The corridor, reported closed for a brief period yesterday because of
fighting, reopened today, SRNA said.
* More than 200 Muslims were expelled from territory by Serbs in
northern Bosnia yesterday, government television reported today.
The nightly television news broadcast said 208 civilians were bussed
across the front line into government territory at Turbe, west of
Another 40 Muslim men reportedly had been removed from the buses by
Bosnian Serb army authorities in nearby Donji Vakuf.
These men were said to have paid Serb authorities 500 German marks
($350) for the right to leave their homes, suggesting that at least some
of the refugees may have requested to leave Serb-held territory.