COURTSIDE: Sarajevo Trial

Court hears claims that Bosnian Serb mortars rained down on children sledging close to their homes.

COURTSIDE: Sarajevo Trial

Court hears claims that Bosnian Serb mortars rained down on children sledging close to their homes.

Witnesses in the trial of Stanislav Galic, the Bosnian Serb commander


accused over the bombardment of Sarajevo, last week described a mortar attack on the Alipasino Polje area of the city in January 1994, which killed six people, mostly children who were playing in front of their houses.


"We were riding sleighs when we heard grenades falling," said Muhamed


Kapetanovic, then nine. "Then we got scared and started to run... Daniel


was killed, I was wounded and Admir and Elvir also were wounded."


Muhamed Kapetanovic was hit in the head and one leg by shrapnel. He was


transferred to Italy where he spent two years undergoing seven operations.


His leg was saved but is 2.5 cm shorter than the other. His friend Admir


had his leg amputated after 12 unsuccessful operations in Italy, while Elvir


suffered superficial wounds.


According to Goran Todorovic, then 12, three boys and two girls were killed


while riding sleighs in Alipasino Polje. "I saw blood and a sleigh at the


spot where the shell fell," he said. "I think there was a child's shoe


lying there too... At that moment I did not know who was hit."


As in previous reconstructions of shelling or sniping incidents, witnesses


used panoramic photographs to show the spot where the victims


had been at the time and the surrounding terrain, to establish whether the


attack came from Bosnian Serb army positions. The trial of Galic, former


commander of the Romanija corps, continues.


Vjera Bogati is an IWPR special correspondent at The Hague and a journalist with SENSE News Agency.


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