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U.S. Troops in Bosnia Remain Vigilant Against Threats

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 1996 – Reported threats against U.S. troops in Bosnia are taken seriously even if they're unconfirmed, according to Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon.

Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, an indicted war criminal, threatened to target U.S. troops for attack or abduction, according to recent reports. Although there is no evidence Mladic has tried to carry through on his threat, Bacon said, all threats are taken seriously.

"We are ready," he said. "We are prepared, and we're vigilant."

Threats are passed to the lowest command level as fast as possible so field commanders can make necessary adjustments, Bacon said.

While reports may prove untrue, he said, DoD doesn't have the luxury of waiting to decide whether they're accurate. "If you get some information you think is useful, you get it down to the people who can act on it."

Security levels have been high since the beginning of the operation in Bosnia and will remain so, Bacon said. "This is a dangerous business ... in a dangerous place," he said. "They [U.S. forces] are paid to be vigilant. That's how they stay alive. That's why we pass these threat reports on to them so they can respond in the best possible way."

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