Bosnian Serbs celebrate day that kicked off devastating war

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — In a show of nationalist defiance, Bosnian Serbs are celebrating a controversial holiday despite strong opposition from other ethnic groups in Bosnia who view it as discriminatory.

Waving Serb flags, several thousand people on Wednesday lined up in the main Serb city of Banja Luka to watch a celebratory parade of security troops, firefighters, cultural and sport groups.

The Jan. 9 holiday marks the date in 1992 when Bosnian Serbs declared the creation of their own state in Bosnia, igniting the country’s devastating four-year war that killed over 100,000 people and left millions homeless.

The day is also an Orthodox Christian holiday. Bosnia’s Muslims and Croats have insisted that it does not represent all ethnic groups who live in the Serb-run part of Bosnia called Republika Srpska.

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