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Karadzic eludes NATO troops


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Karadzic has evaded several attempts to capture him.

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Radovan Karadzic
Serbia
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Ratko Mladic

(CNN) -- More than three dozen NATO troops stormed a residential building in Bosnia-Herzegovina in search of wanted war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic as part of an renewed bid to capture the former Bosnian Serb leader.

"We did not find the individual who we were looking for," said Dave Sullivan, a spokesman for NATO's Stabilization Force (SFOR).

He said the overnight raid on Thursday was part of an ongoing effort to root out those wanted for war crimes, saying: "They can run but they cannot hide forever."

About 40 SFOR members -- involving U.S., British and a specialized multinational force -- took part in the raid in the town of Pale, a suburb of Sarajevo where Karadzic had his headquarters during the republic's ethnic war.

Video from the scene showed heavily armed SFOR members sealing off the area and taking up positions around the building.

Two civilians in the building suffered blast wounds and were airlifted by helicopter to a hospital for treatment, Sullivan said.

Sullivan would not elaborate about the intelligence that led them to believe Karadzic was in the building. There is a $5 million reward posted on him.

The building, Sullivan said, was adjacent to a church that was searched earlier this year.

In that operation, NATO officials believe Karadzic slipped away shortly before they arrived.

Karadzic and Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic were indicted by the War Crimes Tribunal for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

Mladic also remains at large.

NATO has intensified the manhunt for Karadzic since January, raiding homes and questioning possible suspects.

In one operation, three masked members of SFOR jumped from a van and snatched Karadzic's former bodyguard off the street in a dramatic morning raid as he walked his daughter to school in the city of Bijeljina.

The bodyguard has since been turned over to local police.

In other Balkan developments, the U.S. State Department said it was cutting off millions of dollars of new assistance to Serbia because Secretary of State Colin Powell could not certify to Congress that Serbia and Montenegro was cooperating with the war crimes tribunal at the Hague.

"We call on the authorities in Belgrade to cooperate fully with the tribunal by arresting and transferring their fugitive indictees, particularly Ratko Mladic, to face justice before the tribunal," said J. Adam Ereli, a State Department spokesman.

"It's important to point out that if Serbia and Montenegro takes action in the future, the secretary is prepared to review such actions to determine whether they meet the requirements of the law."


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