A U.S. soldier serving with the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia was slashed with a garden-size sickle Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks and threats since NATO’s recent operation against Bosnian Serbs accused of war crimes.
The U.S. Army officer, who was not identified, was only lightly wounded in the shoulder. But the attack on him coincided with the third explosion directed against international monitors here since last Thursday, when British soldiers seized one prominent Bosnian Serb indicted for war crimes and killed another as he resisted capture.
The low-level attacks and reports of unusual harassment in the field have raised security concerns sharply among the international organizations working here to help enforce the November 1995 Dayton peace agreement, which ended Bosnia’s 3-1/2-year ethnic conflict but left unresolved many of the issues that caused it to erupt.
The U.S. command said the soldier, a liaison officer to the Bosnian Serb forces, suffered a two- to three-inch gash in his left shoulder when an unknown attacker swiped at him with the sickle shortly before 2 a.m. at a village near Vlasenica, 25 miles southeast of U.S. headquarters near Tuzla. He was treated by Army medics and released, returning to duty by Wednesday afternoon, spokesmen reported.