December 16, 2014 / 12:37 PM / in 3 years

Ten Bosnian Serb wartime security officials arrested for war crimes

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Ten Bosnian Serb wartime officials were arrested on Tuesday over the killing of close to 70 Muslim Bosniak civilians and persecution of many more, including women and children, early in the former Yugoslav republic’s 1992-95 war.

Two decades since the war, Bosnia is still hunting down those behind war crimes committed during a conflict that killed 100,000 people and displaced two million.

Raiding premises in three towns in eastern Bosnia, police arrested 10 former senior military and police officers on accusations of crimes against humanity, the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) said in a statement.

The men are suspected of planning, supervising and conducting the persecution of around 120 Bosniaks from a village near the eastern town of Zvornik on July 14, 1992, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

After the victims were forced out of their homes, they were taken to different locations and detention sites where they were tortured and maltreated in various ways, the prosecution said.

“On several occasions, the detained civilians were separated into groups and shot en masse. More than 67 civilians were killed,” the statement said.

Eastern Bosnia was a wartime stronghold of the Bosnian Serb army and ethnic Serb paramilitaries, fighting Bosniaks and Croats to carve out an exclusively Serb statelet.

Earlier this month, 15 former Serb paramilitaries and soldiers were arrested in Serbia and Bosnia for the 1993 murder of 20 people, mainly Bosniaks.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Dominic Evans

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