On 12 April 1993 a Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) artillery attack of two short bombardments on Srebrenica left 56 dead, including children, and 73 seriously wounded. Shells dropped on the densely packed streets of the town. 14 bodies of children were found in a school playground (soccer field), which had been hit by a shell at around 3 PM according to HRW. There was a total of 15 civilian casualties at the playground according to the ICTY.
The attack came after suspension of cease-fire talks, hours before NATO would implement a no-fly zone according to UNSCR 781. The Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) had earlier told UNHCR representatives that they would attack the town of Srebrenica within two days unless it surrendered. The Bosnian Serb suspension of talks and shelling of the town 'seemed a deliberate act of malice and political intent'. UN first reported that the shelling was a response to a Muslim attack, but later retracted the statement since there were no evidence for a Muslim aggression. The UNPROFOR's handling has been criticized as ineffective.