Two journalists working for U.S. publications were killed Sunday and another was wounded when their car ran over a land mine near Mostar in southwest Bosnia, a U.N. official said.
In the Adriatic, NATO warships almost clashed with Yugoslav vessels as the allied ships prevented an oil tanker from breaking a U.N. trade embargo on Serbia and Montenegro, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said.
The two dead journalists were identified as Brian Brinton, accredited to Magnolia News, a weekly newspaper in Seattle, and Francis William Tomasic, accredited to Spin magazine.
William T. Vollmann, a novelist who is a senior contributing writer for Spin, was slightly injured in the blast and taken to a Spanish military hospital in the region, the U.N. official said. He added that the journalists had driven off the main road toward a river dam in territory controlled by the Muslim-led Bosnian army.
Spin spokesman Jeff Raban in New York said that Tomasic was Vollmann’s photographer and interpreter.
Meanwhile, Eric Chaperon, a U.N. military spokesman in Sarajevo, said that a U.N. Nordic battalion’s eight German-made Leopard tanks, the most formidable weapons in the U.N. peacekeepers’ arsenal, were brought in after a Danish U.N. post came under fire late Friday.
U.N. officials said the tanks fired 72 shells at Bosnian Serb positions. They said no U.N. troops were hurt, but they could give no information on any Serbian casualties.
The Bosnian Serb army said nine Serbs were killed and four wounded in the fighting near Muslim-held Tuzla in northern Bosnia Friday night and Saturday.
In the Adriatic, NATO said the Maltese-registered Lido II, carrying 45,000 tons of fuel oil, was intercepted while on a course for the rump Yugoslavia after its Russian master reported flooding in the engine room.
A NATO statement said three Yugoslav navy ships were spotted heading fast toward the Lido II as a boarding team from a Dutch NATO warship was being winched aboard.
While Italian Tornado aircraft scrambled from an air base in southern Italy, the Yugoslav ships headed back into their territorial waters, the statement said.
The boarding party said the Lido II’s crew appeared to have flooded the vessel intentionally, apparently as part of a plan to slip into Yugoslav waters and break the trade embargo imposed for Belgrade’s role in the Bosnian war.