The Bosnian Serb army confirmed Wednesday they'd seized the Muslim "safe area" of Zepa in eastern Bosnia.
The reported capture comes eight days after the rebel Serbs seized the so-called "safe area" of Srebrenica, just north of Zepa.
The United Nations spokesman in Bosnia Alexander Ivanko said U-N Commanders had received confirmation from the Bosnian Serbs that the enclave of Zepa had surrendered.
Meanwhile near Sarajevo, the Bosnian village of Hrasnica continues to come under Bosnian Serb bombardment. Residents of Hrasnica have suffered almost daily from Serb shelling and sniper fire.
The village of Hrasnica is situated at the foot of the perilous Mount Igman road into Sarajevo and is just one kilometre away from the Serb-held town of Illidza.
Hrasnica's proximity to Serb-held territory and its strategic position near the only route into the capital make it a frequent target of the Serb forces. Today's attack is just the latest in the relentless volley of sniper fire and shelling.
The population of around 2,000 are used to running for cover - an average of five shells hit the village every day. And at night tank fire and anti-aircraft fire are frequently heard as Serbs target vehicles moving along Mount Igman road.
A large number of Hrasnica's villagers spend all day and all night hiding in basements, emerging only momentarily to carry out essential tasks.
Meanwhile, at a United Nations briefing in Sarajevo, spokesman Alexander Ivanko confirmed the fall of yet another so-called safe area into Bosnian Serb hands. Zepa had been expected to fall since Serbs seized the larger "safe area" of Srebrenica to the north last week.
The fall of the remote mountainous enclave of Zepa set the stage for another flood of refugees who fear murder and torture if they stay. Ivanko said the Sarajevo government had asked the United Nations to provide security for the thousands of Muslims the Serbs plan to expel.
"It is our understanding that the Bosnian President appeared to accept that Zepa had in fact fallen. The President asked UNPROFOR to provide security for all the refugees. This morning UNPROFOR representatives, it is my understanding, both military and civilian have been dispatched to Zepa to monitor the situation, and to liaise with both the Bosnian Government , and Bosnian Serb forces on the ground."
SUPER CAPTION:Alexander Ivanko - U-N spokesman Bosnia-Herzegovina
The capture of Zepa widens Serb control over a strategic swath of land between Sarajevo and the Serbian border. It's also a severe blow to the U-N peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, which has already been criticised as ineffectual.
Only one more Muslim enclave, Gorazde, lies in that region, and Serbs are expected to make it the target of their next major assault.
Meanwhile, European Union (EU) special envoy to former Yugoslavia, Carl Bildt arrived in the Croatian port of Split last (Wednesday) night after meeting Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade.
Bildt, who is conducting a last round of talks with key players in the Bosnian conflict, told reporters there may have been some progress regarding Serbian recognition of Bosnia.
Bildt travels to Sarajevo later today for talks with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic and UNPROFOR commander in Bosnia, General Rupert Smith.
On the way to yet another destination, Carl Bildt's hectic diplomatic shuttle shows no sign of abating. The E-U's special envoy to the former Yugoslavia is nearing the end of a final round of talks with key players in the Bosnian conflict.
In a week when the U-N peacekeeping mission has been hit by the most serious crisis yet in the three-year Balkan war, negotiations are at a critically delicate stage, but Bildt cautiously hinted at signs of a breakthrough.
"It has been an exceedingly difficult situation for the past week, two weeks, I think there might be some progress now that might be not insignificant both in terms of what's happening on the ground, in terms of the situation that we have and in terms of political issues".
SUPER CAPTION: Carl Bildt - E-U special envoy to former Yugoslavia
Following his talks with Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic and UNPROFOR commander in Bosnia, General Rupert Smith, Bildt's frantic travel schedule continues when he travels to London ahead of Friday's meeting of the five nations contact group.