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Balkan Floods Are Bringing Fears of Bosnian War Landmines Resurfacing

The worst floods to hit Serbia and Bosnia in decades left thousands homeless and threaten to inundate a major power plant.
Photo via AP

The worst floods to hit the Balkans in more than 100 years have killed at least 35 people, displaced tens of thousands, and dug up landmines that had been underground since the Bosnian War in the 1990s.

And it’s not over yet, as Serbia and Bosnia brace for more water today — the sixth consecutive day of massive flooding that followed torrential rains on the region. Three months' worth of rain fell on the area in the last few days alone, according to the BBC.


"There are reports that landmines buried during the conflict and not yet removed are in some instances being shifted with the landslides adding the dangers of residents and rescuers," the Red Cross said in a statement.

The floods also caused more than 3,000 landslides across the region and washed away entire towns and villages in both Serbia and Bosnia, affecting parts of Croatia as well.

The videos below show the aftermath of the floods across the region.


Post by Muamer Mirnesa Celenka.


In Belgrade, officials are preparing for a possible inundation of the country’s main power plant — which would cause widespread power cuts in a country already in crisis mode.

In Bosnia, 100,000 houses and 230 schools and health centers were destroyed and about a million people were left without drinking water, local authorities said. In Serbia, 300,000 are without water or electricity, according to the Red Cross.

Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija compared the flood damage to the civil war of the 1990s — in which 100,000 were killed, and which led to the breakup of the former Yugoslavia into six separate states.

"The only difference from the war is that less people have died," he said, according to the Associated Press.

The videos below, released by Serbian officials, show rescue operations in the city of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, which was severely affected by the floods. At least 12 people were killed there, according to Reuters. Some 7,800 people were evacuated from there as dozens of homes were submerged, while as many as 10,000 people are still stranded there, according to the Red Cross.


Obrenovac is also where Serbia's largest power plant is located, supplying electricity to half of Serbia and most of Belgrade. Thousands of soldiers, police and volunteers have been scrambling to build sandbag barricades, to protect the power plant from the surging waters.

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