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Serbia Probes Five Policemen For Kosovo War Crimes

BELGRADE (Reuters) -- Serbia has launched an investigation into five policemen believed to have committed war crimes during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo, the office of the war crimes prosecutor said.

"The office of the war crimes prosecutor requested an investigation against five members of the special police unit, who are believed to have been committed war crimes against civilians and prisoners of war," the statement said. "The prosecution ordered their detention."

Sources close to the investigation said that four of the five were arrested.

Serbia lost control in Kosovo in 1999 after NATO launched bombing raids to halt the killing of civilians by Serb forces in a two-year counterinsurgency campaign.

In February, the United Nations war crimes court in The Hague sentenced five Serbian officials, including a former army chief and a deputy prime minister, to prison terms of between 15 and 22 years.

The five were found guilty of mass killings of Kosovo Albanian civilians during the 1998-99 conflict between Serb forces and separatist guerrillas.