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EU peacekeepers search Bosnia home for Mladic links

12/03/2009 - 9:54

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (Reuters) - European Union peacekeepers, supported by NATO and Bosnian Serb police, raided a building in Banja Luka on Thursday as part of the search for Bosnian war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic.

Mladic, the last remaining fugitive from the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, has been accused by the U.N. war crimes tribunal of genocide over the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo.

"We are looking for anything that can lead us to the arrest of Mladic, the CDs, mobile phones," Pat O'Callaghan, a spokesman for the EU peace force EUFOR, told Reuters by telephone from the scene.

The raid on the home and property of Mladic's former military associate Dusan Todic was conducted by Portuguese, Hungarian, British and Italian troops, O'Callaghan said.

He said the members of the Todic's family had cooperated in the operation, which should be completed later in the day.

Witnesses said soldiers wearing balaclavas and EUFOR vehicles blocked the street in the centre of Banja Luka, the biggest city in Bosnia's Serb Republic, causing a traffic jam.

EUFOR has stepped up its search for information about Mladic in recent months.

His arrest is a key condition for Serbia's progress towards EU membership and Serbian officials have said he should be arrested and handed over to the Hague-based U.N. war crimes tribunal this year.

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic and Olja Stanic)


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