Serbian war crimes court convicts 9 ex-Serb paramilitaries

Serbia’s war crimes court has convicted nine former members of a paramilitary group for the 1999 massacre of more than 100 ethnic Albanian civilians in Kosovo.

The court sentenced the nine for between two and 20 years in prison. Two suspects were acquitted. Prosecutors say they will appeal the not guilty verdicts and seek longer jail terms for the others.

The defendants belonged to a Serbian army-backed group called the Jackals. Among other crimes, they were charged with rounding up dozens of male civilians, locking them in a house and burning them alive. The incident became known as the Cuska massacre.

The war for independence between Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians and Serbian forces killed about 10,000 people in 1998 and 1999. It ended with NATO air strikes on Serb targets.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008.