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Office of the Press Secretary

(Manchester, New Hampshire)

For Immediate Release February 3, 1996


                       Manchester Airport
                    Manchester, New Hampshire

3:30 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of an American soldier this morning in Bosnia. This is the first fatality suffered by American service personnel in Operation Joint Endeavor. Hillary and I join all Americans in extending our deepest sympathies to his family and his friends. Our prayers are with you this afternoon and so is the pride of the nation, for he gave his life in the noblest of causes, the search for peace.

I have been clear since before this operation began that our mission to secure peace in Bosnia would entail some risks. We have done everything we could to minimize those risks, and all Americans should know that we have provided our troops with the best training, the best equipment, to confront the challenges they face in Bosnia, and they are very well led in a careful implementation of their mission. We will continue to take every precaution we can to protect our troops as they work to secure an enduring peace in Bosnia. And all of our troops should know that today our thoughts and our sincere gratitude are with them, especially on this difficult day.

Thank you very much.

END 3:32 P.M. EST