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Serbs Halt Shelling; Raid Called Off

March 14, 1994| Associated Press

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — U.S. aerial gunships prepared to strike at Bosnian Serbs firing at French troops, but the raid was called off Sunday after the Serbian guns fell silent and bad weather obscured the target.

The attack order, coming less than two weeks after NATO planes shot down four Bosnian Serb fighter-bombers, demonstrated U.N. resolve to protect U.N. ground troops. But the decision to rescind the strike after the Serbs stopped firing also showed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization sought to avoid confrontation.

U.N. special envoy Yasushi Akashi ordered NATO planes to attack Serbian positions near Bihac in northwestern Bosnia on Saturday night after a series of attacks on French positions, said Maj. Rob Annink, a U.N. spokesman. A French soldier was killed in the same area Friday.

Annink said a Serbian tank had fired at a French armored vehicle, causing no casualties.

Two hours later, Bosnian Serbs targeted French positions with heavy machine-gun and antiaircraft fire.

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