Serbian police have arrested seven people suspected of involvement in the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, when 8000 Muslim men and boys were murdered by Bosnian Serb fighters.
A prosecutor in Belgrade said Wednesday that the suspects are believed to have committed war crimes against civilians. They are specifically alleged to have been involved in the killing of 1,000 people at a warehouse on the outskirts of Srebrenica.
In 2011 Serbia arrested Ratko Mladic, the leader held responsible for the worst atrocities of the Bosnian war. He is currently in The Hague on trial in an international criminal court.
But the Associated Press reports that the seven arrests on Wednesday were the first seizures of men accused of direct involvement in the massacre, Europe’s worst civilian slaughter since World War II.
At the start of the Bosnian war in 1992, Srebrenica was a mainly Muslim town in a Serb-held part of Bosnia, and as such gained protection by the United Nations. In July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran the so-called safe haven, separated women and children from men, and then systematically murdered the men in mass executions. Mass graves were later found in the area.