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In 1941, Yugoslavia was thrust into World War II when Germany and Italy invaded the country.

Thousands of people were killed, and Belgrade was destroyed.

The Kingdom of the Serbs (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia) was formed in 1918, and Bosnia was annexed to the new nation.

Dissension continued among the different regions of the kingdom, and in an effort to establish unity King Alexander I renamed the country Yugoslavia in 1929.

In 1914, a Bosnian Serb nationalist assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, and Austria declared war on Serbia.

World War I spread throughout Europe, ending four years later in the defeat of Austria-Hungary and its German allies.

Bosnia became part of the Hungarian Empire in the thirteenth century and gained independence again in the early 1300s.Because of Bosnia's position on the border between the Islamic power to the east and the Christian nations to the west, the Turks held on to the area tenaciously, particularly as their empire began to weaken in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.In the mid-nineteenth century, Bosnians joined Slavs from Serbia and Croatia in an uprising against the Turks.The climate varies from cold winters and mild, rainy summers in the mountains to milder winters and hot, dry summers in the rest of the country and a more Mediterranean climate near the coast. In 1991, approximately 44 percent of the people were Bosniac, 31 percent were Serb, 17 percent were Croat, 5.5 percent were Yugoslav (of mixed ethnicity), and 2.5 percent were of other ethnicities.The entire region is vulnerable to severe earthquakes. Since that time, the Bosniac population has declined and that of the Serbs has risen because of ethnic cleansing by the Serbian army.The land area is 19,741 square miles (51,129 square kilometers).

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