Accessibility links

Breaking News

Bosnia Muslim Ex-Commander Arrested For War Crimes

SARAJEVO (Reuters) -- Bosnian police have arrested a Muslim wartime commander on suspicion of killing more than 20 Croat civilians and prisoners of war during the Muslim-Croat war in 1993, the state prosecutor's office said.

Zulfikar Alispago, 51, was arrested on charges of crimes against civilians and prisoners of war, plus violations of the laws and practices of warfare, it said in a statement.

Alispago served as a commander of the special military unit "Zulfikar" that is believed to have carried out the mass killing during an attack on a village in southern Bosnia in April 1993.

"The war crimes in Trusina village were committed on April 16, 1993, when 19 civilians and three Croat soldiers who had earlier surrendered were killed, and four civilians, of whom two children, were wounded," the statement said.

Alispago is the most senior officer arrested so far from a group of Bosnian Muslims charged with the atrocities in Trusina. Five of his wartime comrades were arrested last year.

Bosnian Muslims and Croats entered the 1992-95 war as allies against Bosnian Serbs but then fought their own war in 1993-94, which was ended by a Washington-brokered peace agreement.

Alispago will be handed over to the Bosnian state war crimes court set up in 2005 to try thousands of suspects from the 1992-95 war and to take over mid- and low-ranking cases from the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague.