Wartime Weapons Revealed in Bosnia Floods

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Posted in category Balkans, Bosnia Hertegovina
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Leftover weapons from the 1992-5 war in Bosnia have started emerging as the flood water recedes – proving that many people kept hold of their arsenals after the conflict ended.

Hazards such as unexploded landmines left from the 1992-95 war and hidden weapons that people have stored since the conflict ended have started emerging in Bosnia as a result of the flood disaster.

Esad Aletic, of the Bosnian Mine Action Center, MAC, from Brcko, on Tuesday, said teams had found anti-tank weapons and hand grenades in a village near the flooded town of Samac in the north of Bosnia.

The weapons were found after locals reported spotting them after the flood water receded. This was not the first case of weapons emerging as a result of the floods.

“It clearly suggests that people have been storing arsenals of weapons of different kinds at home,” he said.

“This is not about landmines from mine fields but about bombs and other weapons that the water has moved from households,” he added.

The daily newspaper Nezavisne novine has reported finds of unexploded ordnance in the municipalities of Prijedor, Bijeljina, Brcko, Samac, Doboj, Gradacac, Gracanica, Kalesija and Tuzla. In Doboj alone there were more than 50 such cases.

Aletic said that it all proved the rumours, wich said that many people had kept secret caches of weapons left over from the war.

“Unexploded ordnance has even appeared in garbage dumps. It is obvious that some people saw this as a suitable moment to get rid of them,” he said.

A team of American landmines experts has come to Bosnia to help MAC deal with the mine situation.

“The experts will be in-country for about three weeks to help map the shifted mine fields, advise the local authorities on operations in unfamiliar circumstances, and produce a long-term strategy for operations,” the US embassy to Bosnia said last week.

The head of Serbia’s Mine Action Center, Branislav Jovanovic, said no mines had been found in Serbia so far – but they could yet be brought in by rivers flowing from Bosnia.

More than a million people in Bosnia have been affected by the floods while tens of thousands of homes and other buildings have been ruined or destroyed.

The receding flood water has also revealed some human remains, believed to be lost victims of the 1992-5 war in the country.

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