Spanish king pays tribute to Spanish soldiers in Bosnia

29th March 2012, Comments 0 comments

Spain's King Juan Carlos Thursday inaugurated in the Bosnian town of Mostar a monument in tribute to 22 Spanish soldiers killed during a peacekeeping mission.

The king was welcomed at Spain's square, which has been renovated partially by donations from Madrid, by Bosnia's acting President Bakir Izetbegovic and Mostar mayor Ljubo Beslic.

"This square and the monument will serve to remember the sacrifice of Spanish soldiers during their peace mission in Bosnia," Beslic said.

The southern town of Mostar, where Bosnian Muslims and Croats fought each other during the 1992-1995 inter-ethnic war in the country, still remains divided between the two communities.

The Spanish monarch also walked across the famous Old Bridge in Mostar, on the river Neretva, a jewel of Ottoman architecture which was destroyed during the war but was reconstructed in 2004 thanks to international financial assistance.

Juan Carlos visited Bosnia in January 1998 to celebrate his 60th birthday with Spanish troops serving with NATO peacekeepers.

Bosnia-Hercegovina will mark the 20th anniversary of the start of the war on April 6.

Some 100,000 peole died during the three-and-a-half year conflict.

© 2012 AFP

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