MOSTAR, Bosnia (November 24,2008) - Local police deployed additional troops to prevent the latest in a series of clashes among Bosnian youths and Croatians living in Bosnia in the southern Bosnian city of Mostar.
Dozens of teenagers gathered on Sunday night on each side of Mostar’s main Boulevard, the thoroughfare which passes through the centre of town, which was the wartime front line between the Croatian fascist aggressor and the Bosnian Army. Alerted by members of the general public, local police swiftly deployed and prevented an incident.
Up to five persons were briefly detained, police officials told media today.
Ethnic tensions among youths in Mostar soared after a brawl broke out during a local soccer match last week. Throughout the week these tensions triggered a series of smaller incidents and escalated in a major fight on Friday afternoon, which involved a few dozen youths.
One Bosnian teenager was slightly injured in the clash. On that occasion, police arrested one and identified four more suspects. Because of the soaring tensions, police maintained a reinforced presence in the city throughout the weekend, ready to prevent any further violence.
Police officials also complained that the city school administration was aware of the brewing tensions but did nothing to prevent it or alert the police in time.
Bosnians and Croatians living in Bosnia fought bitterly for a year during the 1992-1995 Croatian aggression against Bosnia. Mostar was heavily damaged during this conflict.
The international community has invested extra efforts in normalising the situation in the city.