Mostar, 12 February 1997 (RFE/RL) -- About 400 Muslim residents of the troubled city of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina gathered today to bury a man killed earlier in the week while trying to visit graves of his relatives on the Croat side of the divided city.
The Muslim cleric who led the ceremony, Sefkija Tinjak, called for reason and not revenge as tensions remained high in the city, which is divided between Bosnian Croats and Muslims despite the fact that they are nominal allies governing half of the Bosnian state.
In other developments today, NATO soldiers toughened patrols in and around the city. They dismantled illegal checkpoints and seized a handful of weapons. Armored personnel carriers and heavily armed soldiers were posted at each bridge linking the Muslim and Croat sides, but n-o incidents were reported.
Meanwhile, Kris Janowski, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) rejected claims for a top Bosnian Croat official that all the Muslims who had been forcibly evicted in Mostar this week have now returned home. Janowski said none of the estimated 100 expelled people have returned home, despite the claims of Kresimir Zubak, who is a Croat member of Bosnia's collective Presidency and President of the Muslim-Croat Federation.