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Kosovo Charges Ethnic Serb With War Crimes


PRISTINA -- Kosovar prosecutors have indicted an ethnic Serb accused of committing war crimes against ethnic Albanian civilians during the 1998-99 war in Kosovo.

Kosovo's Special Prosecution said on June 3 that the suspect, identified only as Z.Dj., was accused of participating in atrocities committed in the town of Peja, about 85 kilometers west of Pristina, in March-April 1999.

According to the indictment, the suspect was part of a Serbian paramilitary group that forced civilians to flee, maltreating them "physically and psychologically," and killed some of them.

The prosecution did not say whether he was arrested.

The Serbian government office for Kosovo identified the man as Zoran Djokic, and claimed that he was arrested at a border crossing between Serbia and Kosovo on February 1.

Describing him as a displaced person from Peja, a statement called his arrest "one more confirmation that Pristina doesn't intend to give up the intimidation campaign against Serb people in Kosovo."

Belgrade's crackdown against ethnic Albanians in its then-province of Kosovo ended following a NATO air campaign in 1999.

About 13,500 people were killed in the conflict, and more than 1,600 people are still missing.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. Although more than 110 countries recognize Kosovo, Belgrade does not.

With reporting by AP and Balkan Insight
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