Family members mourn victims; revelers celebrate anniversary in Bosnia

10:45, May 16, 2010      

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Two opposing historical perspectives were underscored on Saturday in Tuzla, a city located in north-east Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), as mourners gathered to remember their dead at the same spot at which revelers later came to celebrate their liberation. The controversy surrounding the occurrences on May 15, 1992, remains a bitterly divisive issue among the nations of BiH still today.

For the more than 100 family members and survivors who gathered to light candles and place white roses at the spot where 92 Yugoslav National Army (JNA) soldiers were killed and 33 injured, the attack remains a criminal act. City officials had assured the army convoy safe passage from their barracks. The attack allegedly came from Bosnian Muslim soldiers at the point where the convoy was most vulnerable on the route out of Tuzla.

According to Radio Television Republika Srpska, heavy police presence lined the route to the intersection "Brcanska Malta," a place of carnage where fiery explosions lit up the sky on the day in question.

"The first time in 18 years after the crime, we have come to the place of bestial suffering to honor our fresh-faced, innocent young men and their superiors," said Rade Ristovic, minister of Work and Veterans Affairs from the neighboring BiH entity, Republika Srpska.

Radio Television Federation BiH, reported that a few hours after the departure of the mourners, "the people of Tuzla marked one of the most important dates in the recent history of the city" and celebrated their "Independence Day."

"Defenders of Tuzla" gathered at the same spot to celebrate how they had managed, "virtually without weapons" to oppose the JNA and Serb paramilitary forces trying to occupy the city.

Source: Xinhua


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