Balkan Update

May 16, 1993

Bosnia's Serbs turn out in droves to vote on a U.N.-backe peace plan already rejected by their leaders. Voters are expected to snub the plan, defying Western threats of military intervention. They also vote on whether they want an independent state with the right to associate with other Serb-held parts of former Yugoslavia. The two-day referendum ends Sunday.

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said in PALE that he would demand a new peace plan if the U.N.-supported proposal is rejected.

Heavy fighting broke out again in two key towns. U.N. peacekeepers said Bosnian Serbs had launched an assault on Muslim forces near BRCKO, while Bosnian Croat soldiers had attacked Muslim units in MOSTAR.

A mosque in southern Yugoslavia is seriously damaged by a bomb explosion. It is the first such incident in Yugoslavia since Serbs in neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina rebeled against Bosnia's secession from the former Yugoslavia last year.

International mediators Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg arrived in MOSCOW for talks on the U.N.-backed peace plan for Bosnia. Russia wants a U.N. Security Council on Friday to discuss ways to end Bosnia's civil war.

Thousands of demonstrators in BUDAPEST, Hungary threw flowers into the Danube River in a symbolic message of peace for war-torn former Yugoslavia further downstream. Hungary shares borders with Serbia and Croatia and has taken in thousands of refugees from former Yugoslavia.

In WASHINGTON, an estimated 15,000 Bosnian Muslims and sympathizers marched the mile from Lafayette Park, across from the White House, to the Capitol, urging air strikes against Bosnian Serbs.

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