Three policemen were shot dead in Bosnia-Herzegovina a few hours before a visit Friday by the commander of U.N. peacekeeping forces to his new headquarters in Sarajevo, capital of the restive republic.
The upsurge in violence highlighted problems facing 14,000 U.N. peacekeepers, due to arrive by May after eight months of fierce fighting between Croats and Serbs in the newly independent republic of Croatia.
Two policemen were shot dead by gunmen while on patrol late Thursday in Kalesija, a village in northern Bosnia, witnesses said. Protesters and Serbian gunmen then blocked local roads, and another policeman was killed Friday near the barricades.
A soldier was wounded in a shooting in the southern Bosnian town of Mostar, the Belgrade-based Tanjug new agency said, and Croatian radio said two people were confirmed killed in fighting on Wednesday near Zadar on the Adriatic coast.
In the worst week of violence since a U.N.-sponsored truce was agreed in January, at least 20 people have been killed and more than 30 wounded since last Saturday.
After visiting Serbia and Croatia earlier in the week, U.N. commander Gen. Satish Nambiar traveled to Sarajevo to supervise more than 50 U.N. peacekeepers who are setting up the headquarters of his mission.