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Sarajevo Buries Over 40 Who Died in Marketplace

February 08, 1994| From Associated Press

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Sarajevo buried its dead from a market massacre with stony silence Monday, laying to rest more than 40 friends and relatives killed in the Saturday shelling.

Funerals were rushed for fear of sniper fire. Some took place under the gloomy cover of dawn. Even the few tears shed seemed to fall more in anger than in sorrow.

"I just want to say to America that if you saw this, then please open your eyes and open them well," Muhamed Srnja, 48 told a reporter.

Srnja leaned on a homemade crutch, nursing a sniper wound to his leg. He had come to mourn his sister-in-law, killed with 67 others when she went to the market Saturday to trade cigarettes for flour.

The Srnja funeral and four others took place at the old Muslim cemetery on Visnjik Hill. The only sounds were of earth thudding onto coffins and artillery or machine-gun fire rattling from across the valley.

Muslim funerals traditionally are silent. But a similar quiet reigned at earlier burials for Serbs and Croats in a soccer-field-turned-graveyard in Sarajevo.

"The silence doesn't mean we feel less emotion," Srnja said.

"I blame most those who should have removed the weapons from the hills around Sarajevo," he said. "Despite all resolutions, nothing has been done. Just words."

Like other Sarajevans, he placed no faith in the decision Sunday by U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to request permission from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize air strikes.

The Bosnian government insists that the shell that struck Sarajevo came from Bosnian Serb guns. Bosnian Serb commanders and leaders deny this.

And the toll from the Bosnian war mounted Monday.

In Zenica, shells slammed into the government-held city northwest of Sarajevo, killing two women and a 14-year-old boy.

The shelling was a graphic illustration that Bosnia's troubles are not limited to the capital.

Mirsad Mesic, chief of Zenica civil defense, charged that the mortar bombs were fired by Croatian forces in Busovaca, seven miles to the south, in a Croat-held pocket that is under heavy pressure from Bosnian government forces.

Zenica has come under increased shelling by both Serbs and Croats recently.

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