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U.S. Extradites Bosnian Serb Genocide Suspect

Bosnians mourn over the coffins of victims of the Srebrenica massacre.

Bosnians mourn over the coffins of victims of the Srebrenica massacre.

SARAJEVO (Reuters) -- The United States today extradited to Bosnia a former Serb policeman suspected of taking part in genocide against Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995, Europe's worst massacre since World War II.

A spokesman for the state prosecutor's office, Boris Grubesic, said 45-year-old Nedjo Ikonic had been arrested in the United States on an international arrest warrant.

He said Ikonic was a commander of a special police brigade operating within the Serb Republic’s Interior Ministry during the Bosnian 1992-95 war that claimed 100,000 lives.

"In 1995, Ikonic commanded the unit which together with the Bosnian Serb army controlled the roads to and from the eastern town of Srebrenica," Grubesic told state radio.

Bosnian Serb forces, commanded by General Ratko Mladic, killed about 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys after the eastern town, which was a United Nations-protected safe zone, fell into their hands in 1995.

Most were killed while trying to escape through the woods, and were either shot or arrested and taken to places of execution before burial in mass graves.

The UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague has sentenced seven Bosnian Serbs for the Srebrenica massacre. Nine more are on trial.

Mladic is still on the run, 14 years after he was indicted.

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, whose trial before the Hague-based court is adjourned until March, denies all 11 counts of war crimes relating to the Bosnian war, including the genocide at Srebrenica.

The Bosnian war crimes court, set up in 2005 to relieve the burden on the Hague-based tribunal, has put dozens of Bosnian Serbs on trial over Srebrenica. Twelve have been jailed, seven acquitted and seven are still being tried.