“What did I do wrong to them?” asked 10-year-old Bosniak boy Sabahudin Ljusan.
5 February 1994.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Three shells sprayed shrapnel through a crowd waiting for food handouts on a playground Friday, killing eight people and scattering bags of flour and sugar amid pools of blood.
“What did I do wrong to them?” asked 10-year-old [Bosniak boy] Sabahudin Ljusan, one of the wounded who was rushed across town, down “Sniper Alley,” to Kosevo Hospital. He was referring to Bosnian Serb fighters, who have surrounded the city for nearly two years.
The boy winced in pain with every breath as he lay on his side in a hospital bed. Shrapnel pierced his chest, just missing his spine, doctors said.
He was one of about 24 people wounded in the playground. Hospital officials reported two more dead and 16 injured in other explosions Friday. The death toll was the highest for one day in the besieged Bosnian capital since 15 people were killed Jan. 3.
The mortar shells fell after NATO fighter jets thundered over Sarajevo at unusually low levels for an hour, an apparent effort to reinforce Western threats to the Bosnian Serbs. NATO planes, enforcing a no-fly zone over Bosnia, buzz the city from time to time.
A U.N. ballistics crew examined the craters and concluded they were caused by three 120 mm mortar shells, launched from the Serbian side, said Maj. Jose Labandeira, a U.N. spokesman.
Bosnia’s Bosniak-led government also blamed the shelling on the Serbs. A Bosnian Serb leader denied the besieging force had anything to do with it.
At Kosevo Hospital, blood pooled on the floor of the emergency room while doctors treated the wounded.