BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Over 10,000 people have gathered for the re-opening of a mosque in Bosnia that was destroyed by Christian Orthodox Serbs during the 1992-1995 war.
The Ferhat Pasha mosque was a masterpiece of 16th-century Ottoman architecture. It was one of 16 mosques in the city Banja Luka that were destroyed by the Serbs to erase any traces that Muslims lived there as they expelled and killed them.
A postwar attempt in 2001 to lay a foundation stone for its reconstruction was disrupted by a Serb nationalist mob which attacked the Muslims visitors, injuring dozens and killing one. NATO forces had to evacuate foreign ambassadors from the ceremony with helicopters.
On Saturday, Bosnian Serb authorities deployed over 1,000 policemen to secure the event which will be attended by Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu.