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With a roar, Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation test-fired its first howitzers produced domestically and funded by the U.S. equip-and-train program.

A factory employing 820 people has finished four of the 122mm howitzers so far and made parts for 10 more that still await assembly.

The factory produced weapons for the old Yugoslavia before the Bosnian war. Now, the United States -- intent on making sure that the Muslim-Croat federation can protect itself from Bosnian Serbs -- is paying for the production of 51 howitzers at a cost of $90,000 each.

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