Europe

Teslic war crimes: Bosnian Serbs detained

Sarajevo residents flee shelling in June 1992 (file pic) Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nearly half the Bosnian population fled their homes during the four years of fighting

Thirteen former Bosnian Serb police and soldiers have been arrested by police on suspicion of carrying out killings of Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks (Muslims) in 1992.

Several are suspected of taking part in a notorious paramilitary group, "Mice".

Others were said to have had prominent wartime roles in the police.

The men were detained in two northern towns after the cases were handed over to Bosnian authorities by the war crimes tribunal at The Hague.

The tribunal is currently trying the war crimes cases of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic as well as ex-leader Radovan Karadzic.

Some 40 Croats and Bosniak residents of the northern town of Teslic and the nearby villages of Rankovic and Stenjak were murdered in June 1992, weeks after the conflict broke out.

During that time, Bosnian Serb authorities set up camps in the north-western area of Prijedor in which thousands of non-Serbs were detained, tortured or killed.

In four years of war about 100,000 people were killed in Bosnia and two million more - nearly half the population - forced from their homes.

The thirteen arrested on Monday have been charged with murdering at least 40 people, as well as "persecution, enforced displacement and illegal detention of several hundred people", officials say.

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