U.N. Tells Its Troops To Shoot Back
Pushed by Bosnia’s combatants to choose between getting tough and getting out, the United Nations on Friday told its beleaguered peacekeepers to shoot to kill to protect themselves.
Although all peacekeeping missions are told they can return fire to protect themselves, troops often withhold fire depending on how assertive the United Nations is trying to be in protecting its mission. Friday’s blunt instructions signaled that peacekeeping nations were likely to stay.
France in particular had been threatening to withdraw unless the mission took a stronger posture. The instructions were issued a day after a sniper shot a French soldier in the head near Sarajevo’s notorious “Sniper Alley.”
In fighting Friday, Serb shelling killed a woman in the Sarajevo suburb of Velesici, hospital officials said, and Bosnian Serbs said two women were killed by government snipers in Serb-held Lukavica.