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Sanctions Fail to Stop Bosnia Battles

By Reuters / June 2, 1992



BELGRADE

SPORADIC fighting and artillery bombardments shook parts of the embattled republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina yesterday, as United Nations sanctions against Yugoslavia started to take hold.

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Sporadic small arms and cannon fire was reported in Sarajevo through much of the night.

Although no military measures have been discussed specifically by the Security Council, the Belgrade press has been rife with speculation that the UN would impose a naval blockade and assume control of Yugoslavia's airspace.

The Yugoslav presidency yesterday announced special measures to conserve oil products in the face of the UN trade embargo. Diplomats said Yugoslavia usually maintained oil reserves of 15 to 20 days.

Mile-long lines of cars formed in front of gas stations as motorists, fearing an oil squeeze, rushed to stock up.

But there was no panic-buying in Belgrade's still well-stocked grocery stores, and there appeared to be no rush of customers.

Most people appeared confident that their stockpiles of food and other supplies would outlast the sanctions. "We already have stocks of oil, flour, and other vital items to last us several months, so we figure we will get through just fine," said Mileva Simic, a retired schoolteacher.

"I cannot believe that these sanctions will last long enough to make a difference," agrees Verica Milivojevic, a grocery sales clerk.