STARA GRADISKA
Vjekoslav Zugaj
Friday, l6th August: Chetnik terrorists from Okučani attacked the village of Gornji Bogičevci with mortar and machine-gun fire.

Railway traffic between Okučani and Novska was suspended as the railway-track was said to have been mined. West of Okučani, terrorists hit a helicopter of the European Monitoring Forces, but fortunately none of them was injured.

Near a closed-down restaurant in the village of Smrtić, soldiers of the Croatian National Guard were ambushed by Chetniks. The Chetniks opened fire on Croatian soldiers from all. kinds of guns in a perfidious and treacherous manner from behind the houses, farm-buildings and barricades. Several soldiers were injured and one was killed.

The bridge between Stara Gradiška and Bosanska Gradiška was blocked and road communication on this route was, therefore, completely interrupted. At 7 p.m. telephone communication between Okučani and Stara Gradiška was also disconnected.

Saturday, l7th August: A convoy of thirty tanks, military trucks and armoured personnel carriers came to Okučani from the direction of Bjelovar. The tanks took the main road towards Nova Gradiška but they were stopped by the Croatian army in Gornji Bogičevci. Varaždin corps tanks went back to Okučani.

The positions surrounding Okučani and Stara Gradiška were buzzed by military aeroplanes throughout the day. Besides frightening the local population these were reconnaissance flights.

Late in the afternoon, two aeroplanes attacked the police station in Stara Gradiška.

The Croatian defensive forces mined and set to fire the bridge which crosses the River Sava between Stara Gradiška and Bosanska Gradiška. The explosive was set on the bridge which crosses the Strug channel. The soldiers of the Banja Luka corps positioned in Bosanska Gradiška opened heavy tank and mortar fire on the positions of the Croatian police and army. It was then that the tower in Stara Gradiška, a monument of the highest cultural significance, suffered serious damage.

Sunday, l8th August: Although the bridge over the River Sava was mined and damaged, the armoured and tank formations of the Banja Luka corps, who had been shelling the positions of the Croatian police and army throughout the night, crossed it and entrenched themselves close to Prašnik forest. The bridge over the Strug channel was mined and blown up and thus the advancement of tanks was stopped.

Monday, l9th August: Heavy-machine gun fire was opened on the Croatian defensive forces in Novi Varoš from the area between Stara Gradiška and the Strug channel where the formations of the Yugoslav army were positioned. Yugoslav army reservists were situated in the area surrounding Stara Gradiška,.

Tuesday, 20th August: Having tried in vain for days to cross the Strug channel, engineering units of the Yugoslav army succeeded in constructing a temporary crossing close to the demolished bridge, near Novi Varoš. They concentrated the forces of the Banja Luka corps in the area gravitating towards Okučani. Two tanks succeeded in crossing to the north part of the road.

Wednesday, 2lst August: The Tower in Stara Gradiška was hit with two missiles from the air without serious damage, according to the statements of some witnesses. The Yugoslav army then set large quantities of explosive in what was once a strong fortress. About 5 p.m. a massive explosion demolished this monument of the highest cultural significance.

Friday, 23rd August: From the area of Stara Gradiška, where soldiers of the Yugoslav army and reservists of the Banja Luka corps were positioned, tank fire was opened on Croatian forces. During the night, the Yugoslav army received reinforcements; the newcomers were positioned along the main road.

Saturday, 24th August: Four JNA personnel carriers crossed the Strug channel and set out towards Novi Varoš. At the same time, military helicopters flew over the vehicles on the motorway provoking the drivers. Combat aeroplane flew over the west part of Nova Gradiška and in Gornji Bogićevci machine-gun fire was heard.

Tuesday, 27th August: In an attack from their positions around the Strug channel by the Yugoslav army on Croatian police and army in Novi Varoš, a large number of family houses and farm buildings were destroyed by tank shells.

The forces of the Banja Luka corps, reinforced regularly, every night, by Serbian reservists, started regrouping from their positions around the Strug channel, through Gornji Varoš, towards Gredani, Čovac and Vrbovljani.

The Belgrade and Sarajevo media continue their war against the Republic of Croatia. The latest "gem" is that, according to them, the Croatian authorities had massacred the family of Mile Radivojević, a Serb from Novi Varoš, and the owner of a carpenter's workshop. Such rumours came as a surprise to Mile and his wife, too. We found them safe and sound at home and an interview with them was broadcast on the radio.

Wednesday, 28th August: Serbian terrorists, well armed and encouraged by the presence of JNA formations, who had started regrouping their forces from the the Strug channel towards Vrbovljani two day ago, cut the wire fence near the Vrbovljani flyover and stopped vehicles on the south lane of the Zagreb-Belgrade motorway, searched and abused travellers.

INDEX|HOME

______________________________________
Studia Croatica Studia Croatica Blog Studia Croatica - Lexicon www.croacia.com.ar . . . .