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Bosnian Capital Faces Crisis Over Gas Cutoff


A man piles chopped wood by the roadside outside Sarajevo.

A man piles chopped wood by the roadside outside Sarajevo.

SARAJEVO -- With some 70,000 households entirely dependent on natural gas for heating, the Bosnian capital Sarajevo is experiencing its worst humanitarian crisis since the 1992-95 war.

Civil defense teams are in a state of emergency and free firewood is being distributed throughout the city to low-income residents so they can heat their homes in the absence of Russian gas, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reports.

The Bosnian Presidency announced that it will declare a state of emergency on January 12 if gas delivery has not resumed.

Along with Sarajevo, the towns of Zenica and Zvornik are without alternative heating. Emergency crews are working around the clock at power plants to try to convert generators to burn alternative fuels, a process that takes about 15-20 days.
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