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Bosnian Muslim officers extradited

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A skeleton of a war crimes victim lies in a misty field  


THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (CNN) -- Three high-ranking Bosnian Muslim officers detained in Bosnia have been indicted on charges of murder during the 1992-95 war.

The two generals and a colonel were charged with executing civilians and war prisoners, for using hostages as human shields, and for the pillaging and destruction of towns and villages in 1993.

They were flown from Sarajevo to The Hague on Friday where they are expected to be placed in the same detention centre as Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

The three Muslim officers are former commanders of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, General Enver Hadzihasanovic, General Mehmed Alagic and Colonel Amir Kubura were arrested on Thursday.

Indictments were issued on Friday for war crimes and grave breaches of the Geneva convention in central Bosnia in 1993 and 1994.

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The indictments were issued after the United States vowed to step up efforts to bring Bosnian war crime suspects to justice following the conviction on Thursday of a Serb general for genocide.

Bosnian Serb general Radislav Krstic received a 46-year jail sentence for his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 7,000 Muslims.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher pledged continued U.S. support to "all credible efforts to bring violators of the international humanitarian law to account."

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said the victims of the crimes in the indictment were predominately Bosnian Croat prisoners of war and civilians.

The ICTY said one of the main features of the indictment was that most of the crimes were said to have been committed by "foreign Muslim fighters" who referred to themselves as Mujahedin or Holy Warriors.

It listed the alleged crimes into three categories, the first being executions and massacres following attacks on towns and villages.

The second was crimes allegedly committed in detention facilities involving killings, beatings, physical and psychological abuse.

The third category relates to the systematic plunder and destruction of areas that were occupied by Muslim forces.

The ICTY said the accused were charged on the basis of their command responsibility.

Hadzihasanovic was the commander of the Bosnian Army's Third Corps at the time of the alleged offences. Alagic was the Commander of a Third Corps Operational Group. Kubura was commander of the Seventh Muslim Mountain Brigade.

On Thursday, Krstic became the first person to be found guilty of genocide by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Krstic
Krstic is the highest-ranking Bosnian Serb military officer tried by the U.N. court  

Krstic's commander, General Ratko Mladic, along with wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, are also being sought by the tribunal.

Presiding judge Almiro Rodrigues said the order to kill thousands of innocent people had clearly come from his superiors.

Rodrigues said in passing sentence: "You are guilty of the murder of thousands of Bosnian Muslims. ... You are guilty of inflicting incredible suffering. General Krstic, you agreed to evil."

Krstic, the highest-ranking Bosnian Serb military officer tried by the U.N. court, said he knew of the mass killings, but was unable to stop them.






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