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Ratko Mladic: 'Mastermind' of atrocity

Mladic is believed to be holed up in the border regions of Serbia and Bosnia.
Radovan Karadzic
Ratko Mladic
Bosnia and Herzegovina

(CNN) -- Ratko Mladic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb army, is charged with the July 1995 massacre at Srebrenica of 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

The genocide has been described as Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

The United Nations war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands is still awaiting his capture, along with that of former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic.

Both are charged with being the masterminds behind the 1995 killings.

A video, made public this month, shows members of the Serb paramilitary force known as the Scorpions shooting six young Muslim prisoners in their backs. The slain men are believed to be among those slaughtered in Srebrenica after Serb troops overran the town. (Full story)

Mladic is believed to be holed up in the border regions of Serbia and Bosnia.

Both countries have come under intense international pressure to find and hand over Mladic, Karadzic and other key figures accused of atrocities during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Mladic was born on March 12, 1942 in the village of Kalinovik in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He was trained at the military academy of the Yugoslav People's Army.

In 1991, he commanded the army's 9th Corps in fighting against Croatian forces. A year later, he headed the Yugoslav army's headquarters in Sarajevo, before commanding the newly created Bosnian Serb army.

In 1992, as hostilities broke out in Sarajevo, Mladic led the "shelling and sniping to target civilian areas of the city and its civilian population and institutions, killing and wounding civilians, and thereby also inflicting terror upon the civilian population," the war crimes tribunal contends.

Mladic is accused of leading the army into the U.N.-protected enclave Srebrenica in 1995. "Subsequently, those Bosnian Serb Forces terrorized Bosnian Muslims, who were forcibly transferred to areas outside the enclave and many of whom fled in a huge column through the woods towards Tuzla. The majority of this group consisted of unarmed military personnel and civilians," the tribunal says.

It was during this period that killings at Srebrenica took place.

Mladic returned to Belgrade after the war but disappeared after former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was arrested in 2001.

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