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Bosnia opera set to honor Russia victims

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- The opening night of an opera about the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica in Bosnia will be dedicated to the hundreds of people who died after terrorists seized a Russian school last week, an official said yesterday.

The ''Srebrenica Women" opera, inspired by the worst massacre of Bosnia's 1992-95 war, opens in Oct. 15 in Sarajevo. The opera, composed by Ivan Caviovic with a libretto written by Gojko Bijelica, deals with the suffering of the women whose husbands, sons and fathers were killed in July 1995 when Bosnian Serbs overran Srebrenica, at the time a U.N.-declared safe zone.

The director of the Bosnian National Theater, Gradimir Gojer, told the Associated Press that the income from the opening night would be sent to the victims' families in the Russian republic of North Ossetia.

''We call on artists and citizens to be compassionate and honor terror victims in both Srebrenica and Russia," Gojer said.

Nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed by Bosnian Serbs in Srebrenica in 1995, at the end of the Bosnian war that took 200,000 lives and left 1.8 million people homeless.

The three-day horror in the southern Russian town of Beslan claimed the lives of more than 300 hostages, many of them children.

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