The couple who became famous as Romeo and Juliet from Sarajevo were shot dead while fleeing

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The couple who became famous as Romeo and Juliet from Sarajevo were shot dead while fleeing
The couple who became famous as Romeo and Juliet from Sarajevo were shot dead while fleeing

In the war in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995, which was full of selective atrocities, about 97,000 people lost their lives, including a young couple whose story made the world press. The hugging corpses of Bosniaks Admira Ismić and Serb Boško Brkić, fleeing from besieged Sarajevo, lay untouched for seven days, because no one dared to approach them for fear of snipers

The root cause of the conflict, characterized as the bloodiest phase of the South Slavic war, was that the Bosnian Serbs did not want to secede from Yugoslavia, which had become a truncated state with the secession of Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia, while the majority of the Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats did not even want to be in the middle of their backs. Serbian-led alliance. In January 1992, the Bosnian Serb Republic was proclaimed, which declared itself part of Yugoslavia, in response to a referendum in March, which was boycotted by the Serbs, and the Bosniaks and Croats voted for the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The tense situation quickly turned into war: on April 1, Serbian soldiers shot at the non-Serb population in the village of Bijeljina, four days later, peaceful protesters were killed by militants in Sarajevo, and on the 6th, the Bosnian Serb army surrounded the settlement. In May 1993, the two 25-year-olds who were later dubbed the Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo by CNN journalists tried to escape from the besieged city.

They tried to win free passage by paying off the soldiers

Admira and Boško met nine years earlier, in high school: the two teenagers fell in love immediately, their families, despite the fact that the girl was a Bosnian Muslim and the boy a Serbian Orthodox Christian, were not against it, in fact, specifically they supported the relationship (this is where the Shakespeare analogy falls apart). The lovers, who later went to university together, decided to stay in Sarajevo at the beginning of the siege of the city, despite the fact that Boško's widowed mother fled to the Serbian town of Kruševac with the rest of the family - they thought the war would end soon anyway.

The intact bodies of Admira Ismić and Boško Brkić next to the Vrbanja bridge
The intact bodies of Admira Ismić and Boško Brkić next to the Vrbanja bridge

Over time, however, the fighting became more and more violent, and the couple's friend and roommate, Miso Čuk, who served in the Bosnian army to become a Serb, secretly deserted and fled the city, which made both Admira and Boško suspicious. The lovers in a difficult situation decided to come up with an escape plan: they collected money and paid off the Serbian soldiers controlling the Grbavica district, who thus allowed them a free way to the Vrbanja bridge over the Miljacka river. One side of the bridge was controlled by the Serbs and the other by the Bosniaks, however, the young people agreed with both sides on free crossing in return for a sufficient bribe, and after the successful departure from Sarajevo, they were supposed to head to Serbia, to Boško's family.

No one was ever charged in the case

After the seemingly safe preparation, the lovers set off on their daring journey at dawn on May 19, 1993: it seemed that everything was going well, it was going according to plan, they had almost crossed the bridge when they opened fire on them. Boško died immediately, while Admira, who received a fatal wound, suffered for a quarter of an hour before her soul left her - with her last movements, she embraced her love, closed her eyes forever in his arms. The corpses of the couple lay untouched not far from the bridge for seven days, because no one dared to step closer and transport them - several shocking photos were taken of the shocking sight, which made their way into the world press.

The identity of the killer of the couple was never revealed, and there was no investigation into the case - the story was first revealed to the world by Reuters journalist Kurt Schork, and in 1994 the Canadian John Zaritsky directed a television documentary nominated for an Emmy Award. After the end of the war in Bosnia, the young people who died tragically found their final resting place in a common grave in the Lions cemetery in Sarajevo.

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