Patterns of Global Terrorism 1997 - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Numerous attacks occurred against the international presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1997. Most of these attacks consisted of small-scale bombings that resulted in material damage and few casualties. However, during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Bosnia and Herzegovina in April, an unidentified assailant planted over 23 remote-controlled landmines underneath a bridge that was part of the Pope's motorcade route. Acting on a report from a witness claiming to have seen a suspicious person near the bridge, police discovered and defused the mines a few hours before the Pope's arrival. No group claimed responsibility for the attempted attack.

Following the apprehension of two indicted Bosnian Serb war criminals in Prijedor by the Stabilization Force (SFOR) troops on 10 July, unidentified assailants mounted over 20 improvised bombings against facilities and individuals belonging to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Police Task Force, and SFOR. In December unknown attackers threw a handgrenade at a Dutch SFOR compound the day after a Dutch SFOR unit apprehended two indicted Bosnian Croat war criminals near Vitez. Other small-scale bombings against the international community presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina occurred to protest the handling of local elections and voter registration procedures and the return of refugees and displaced persons to their prewar homes.

In November, Bosnian security services began an operation to apprehend former mujahedin – foreign Islamic fighters who served in the Bosnian Army during the war – suspected of involvement in a variety of criminal activities, including the murders of several Bosnian Croats and bombings of Croat houses and churches. By yearend, roughly 20 Arab and Bosnian Muslims had been arrested by Bosnian authorities.


This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.