Bosnian War, 25 Years Later: Mostar Bridge Illustrates Lingering Divide; ANDY ECKARDT & VLADIMIR BANIC; NBC News


Bosnia – Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar

For more than three decades Semir Kazazic-Miro has been leaping from a bridge and plunging 70 feet into the ice-cold, fast-flowing waters of the Neretva River below.

Since the span was originally built in 1566, the Stari Most — or “Old Bridge” — Mostar’s main attraction has been a place where residents show off their high-diving skills.

The Stari Most has also been a prominent symbol for the peaceful co-existence of Muslim Bosniaks, Christian Croats and mostly Orthodox Serbs.

Yet rising tensions between the ethnic groups following the collapse of Yugoslavia culminated in the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, that left an estimated 100,000 people dead and nearly two million others displaced.

Despite sniper fire and heavy shelling from the nearby hills, Kazazic-Miro and his fellow divers continued to jump from the landmark through the war.

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