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Former Bosnian general arrested for 'war crimes'

Former Bosnian general arrested for war crimes

Sarajevo: A former general who fought with Bosnian Muslim forces during the country's 1990s conflict was arrested in Sarajevo on Wednesday on charges of committing war crimes against Serb civilians, a prosecutor said.

Ramiz Drekovic, 62, is the third general from Bosnian Muslims (Bosniak) troops to be accused of war crimes in the past three years by local authorities.

Originally from Serbia, Drekovic was a captain in the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) before Yugoslavia unravelled in 1991 through a series of conflicts that left 130,000 people dead, mostly in the Bosnian war.

He later became one of the most senior generals in the Bosnian army.

According to Bosnia's war crimes prosecutor, Drekovic ordered an artillery bombardment on the mostly Serb town of Kalinovik in the southeast on several occasions in 1995.

During these bombings "a 15-year-old child was killed and several children and adults were injured, in addition to extensive destruction of property," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Drekovic retired shortly after the end of the war in 1995 and became an advisor to Bosnian Muslim politicians.

His arrest comes as Sarajevo puts a growing number of Bosnian Muslims on trial for their role in the war that saw the country's Muslim, Serb and Croat communities clash.

Two other former Bosnian generals are currently facing trial.

Last week a high-profile Bosnian Muslim military commander, Naser Oric, was acquitted in a re-trial for charges he killed Serb prisoners during the start of the war.

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