As Serbs and Muslims carried out a general cease-fire in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croat fighters launched a blistering attack on government forces in Mostar, forcing hundreds of Muslims from the city 45 miles southwest of Sarajevo.
Heavy fighting with anti-aircraft machine guns and mortar fire was reported. Ten bus loads of Muslim civilians were seen leaving the city under Croat guard. A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the agency had reports that Croatian forces planned to deport Muslims to the towns of Zenica and Jablanica to the north.
The Croats are nominally allied with the Muslims against the Serbs, but want to link Croatian-held territory in southwestern Bosnia with Croatia proper.
The Bosnian Croats were not a party to the latest truce between Bosnian Serbs and Muslims, which went into effect on Sunday. As part of the pact, the towns of Zepa and Srebrenica were to be demilitarized starting yesterday.
The first UN military observers reached Zepa on foot Sunday after their vehicles were blocked by barricades.
The observers found the township of Zepa almost deserted, after days of intense fighting. John McMillan, spokesman for the UNHCR, said 40,000 people used to live in Zepa and surrounding villages, including about 6,000 in Zepa proper.
"If the situation report in Zepa is correct, then it is a humanitarian catastrophe of tremendous magnitude if there are 50 people wandering around a city that was at least 6,000 before the shelling," he said.
The foreign ministers of the 12 European Community countries were meeting today in Brussels to discuss increasing pressure on Bosnian Serbs. But they appeared unlikely to agree to military intervention, as President Clinton has proposed.