Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina; 10 April 2001 (RFE/RL) -- A car bomb blast badly damaged the home of Bosnian Croat government minister Mladen Ivankovic today. Police say the device exploded before dawn in Siroki Brijeg, destroying the first floor of the house. Ivankovic, a moderate, is minister without portfolio in the Muslim-Croat Federation's government. His brother Jerko, a deputy, also lives in the house.
The Ivankovics later blamed the attack on the main Bosnian Croat nationalist party, the Croat Democratic Community (HDZ) which is leading a campaign for Croat self-rule in Bosnia. The U.S. government yesterday condemned HDZ for allegedly organizing mob violence in Bosnia.
And in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees expressed concern today about recent attempts to intimidate ethnic Serbs from returning to their homes in the Croat-controlled part of Bosnia. A spokesperson cited several recent bomb attacks.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher yesterday issued a warning in response to riots that broke out in Bosnia after SFOR peacekeepers seized branches of a bank that is controlled by the HDZ. The bank is accused of illegally channeling funds to Bosnian Croat separatists.
"We condemn the role of the Croat Democratic Community in organizing the mob violence that resulted in dozens of injuries and prevented the police and the security forces from fully carrying out their mandate. We think the organizers of that violence should be held accountable."
In Croatia, war veterans who support the Bosnian Croat separatists have threatened to blockade a NATO logistics base, a border crossing near Mostar, and the Adriatic port of Ploce, which is used to supply SFOR peacekeepers in Bosnia.