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Ex-Yugoslav General Freed Early By War Crimes Court


Former General Pavle Strugar arriving in Podgorica after his release

Former General Pavle Strugar arriving in Podgorica after his release

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -- A former Yugoslav general has been released from the detention center of a Hague-based war crimes court, after serving more than two-thirds of a 7 1/2-year prison sentence for crimes committed in 1991.

Pavle Strugar, 75, was convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2005 over attacks on civilians during the 1991 shelling of the historic Croatian city of Dubrovnik and sentenced to eight years' imprisonment.

An appeals court reduced the sentence in July 2008, citing Strugar's deteriorating health.

His release from detention follows a January 16 decision in favor of his early release.

Two civilians were killed and three were wounded when forces under Strugar's command shelled Dubrovnik from land and sea on December 6, 1991, after Croatia declared independence from Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia.

The medieval and Renaissance old town, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, suffered heavy damage.
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