Sarajevo Children’s Deaths in Artillery Attack Mourned, 30 Years On

22. January 2024.13:00
Flowers were laid in the Alipasino Polje neighbourhood of Sarajevo to mark the 30th anniversary of the deaths of six children who were killed by shells fired from Bosnian Serb Army positions as they were sledging in the winter snow.

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Mourners lay flowers in front of the monument to the children who died. Photo: BIRN.
Mourners lay flowers in front of the monument to the children who died. Photo: BIRN.

A commemoration was held on Bosanska Street in Sarajevo’s Alipasino Polje neighbourhood on Monday in memory of six children who were killed by an artillery attack from Bosnian Serb Army positions on January 22, 1994.

“The very thought that someone could kill six innocents in an instant is horrible,” said Fikret Grabovica, president of the Association of Parents of Children Killed During the Siege of Sarajevo 1992-1995.

“Six innocent children were killed here while they were sledging. Photographs taken after that crime made world news. The snow was not white, but red,” he added.

Four-year-old Jasmina Brkovic was the youngest of the children who were killed. Her sister Indira, 11, was also killed.

The four others who died were boys – eight-year-old Mirza Dedovic, nine-year-old Admir Subasic, ten-year-old Danijel Jurenic and 13-year-old Nermin Rizvanbegovic.

Six other children were injured in the attack.

Hamed Kapetanovic, the father of an 11-year-old boy who was injured, told BIRN that he was watching the children sledging down a slope from his 11th-floor window when shells started falling.

“Looking through the window, I saw them start running towards the doorway. A projectile fell behind them, completely slicing into the one at the back. That was our neighbour, [Danijel] Jurenic,” Kapetanovic said.

Grabovica lamented the fact that the Bosnian prosecution has not yet brought anyone to justice for the attack.

“All this wasn’t enough for the prosecution to do its job, to prosecute those who committed those monstruous crimes,” he said.

Hague Tribunal verdicts registered more than 30 incidents of shelling from Bosnian Serb Army positions during the siege of Sarajevo.

The Hague court sentenced the wartime Bosnian Serb political and military leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, as well as the one of the commanders of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, Stanislav Galic, to life in prison for waging a campaign of terror against civilians in besieged Sarajevo through sniper and artillery attacks.

Another former commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, Dragomir Milosevic, was sentenced to 29 years in prison for terrorising the civilian population of Sarajevo.

Jasmin Begić

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