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Gun and cows

By Cpl. Sébastien Pisani
First published in
SFOR Informer#110, April 4, 2001

Gornji Smrtici - A sweet farm in a snowy countryside? Under that smiling exterior an explosive surprise waited for SFOR.
Acting on advice received by the International Police Task Force (IPTF) station in Prijedor, a British unit based in Banja Luka, C Squadron Queens Dragoon Guards, recovered a M53-59 anti-aircraft gun from private property in the Gornji Smrtici region Feb. 27. The weapon was hidden in a cowshed. Soldiers first had to take down a part of a wooden wall, before getting the vehicle out of the building with a winch, a tricky operation because of the 10-ton weight of that anti-aircraft gun. But Brits worked contentedly under the eyes of the neighbourhood.
In relation to the recovery of the gun, deputy commander for Multinational Division - Southwest (MND-SW), Brig. Robert Aitken, stated, "There is no reason for anyone to hold on to weapons like this any more. BiH is not at war. Anyone who still has weapons should hand them in.
This is how the people of the country can make a real contribution to a safe and secure environment."
The weapons collection continues in MND-SW.
More recently, a British unit seized a Russian-built T-55 tank hidden in a stable in Smrtici village near Prnjavor. The farmer said a group of Bosnian Serb soldiers asked him to hide the tank for them near the end of the war but never came back for it.
It was not the first time SFOR has made this kind of discovery in this village. Soldiers also seized a T-55 tank last year that had been kept in a garden belonging to a Bosnian-Serb since 1995.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: UK
SFOR at Work