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21 Jul, 2008 20:59

War crimes suspect Karadzic arrested in Serbia

The former leader of the Bosnian Serbs and one of the world’s most wanted men, Radovan Karadzic, has been arrested in Serbia. The Serbian President’s office has confirmed he was arrested by the country’s security service.

Karadzic has been on the wanted list of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia since 1995.

He is accused of war crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity and breaches of the Geneva convention.

He is alleged to have ordered a massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995 and the shelling of Sarajevo, where thousands of civilians were killed.

Karadzic denies all the charges.

U.S. and NATO welcome capture

The U.S. has congratulated the Serbian authorities for capturing Karadzic. The news has also been welcomed by NATO representatives and Bosnian Muslims.

But a political expert from Belgrade, Slavenko Terzic, says Radovan Karadzic was “a political leader at the time and there's no proof he was involved in war crimes”.

The international community has pressed Serbia to extradite him and his associate Ratko Mladic. It is one of the conditions for Serbia joining the EU.

Karadzic was the first president of the independent Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina after it gained independence in the early 90s.

In the late 80s he became involved in politics and helped co-found the Serbian Democratic Party. It was formed in 1990 as a response to the rise of national and Croat parties in Bosnia.