Bosnia detains a Serb ex-policeman over wartime killing of 51 civilians

Last Updated 17 November 2020, 17:41 IST

Bosnian police on Tuesday detained a Serb ex-policeman accused of taking part in the killing of 51 non-Serb civilians in northwestern Bosnia early in the Balkans war of the 1990s, the state prosecutor's office said.

A quarter of a century after the U.S.-sponsored Dayton peace accords ended the war among Bosnian Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) in which about 100,000 people were killed, many suspected war criminals are still at large in the ethnically divided country.

Dusan Culibrk, 50, is accused of taking part in the killing of 44 Bosniak and Croat civilians who were taken in July 1992 for exchange from the notorious Omarska camp for non-Serbs, where they were illegally detained.

Culibrk, who was a member of the Serb-run reserve police force in the town of Bosanska Krupa, along with others brought the group to the site of the Lisac pit and shot them, the prosecution said.

The remains of the victims were found and exhumed from the pit in 2000, when they were also identified.

Culibrk is in addition accused of intercepting a group of seven Bosniak civilians from Prijedor on their way to the western town of Bihac, and killing them. Their remains were also found in the Lisac mass grave, the prosecution said.

Culibrk is investigated for the war crimes against civilians, just as Milorad Kotur from Bosanska Krupa, who was questioned in Serbia where he currently resides, the prosecution said.

Omarska was one of four Serb-run detention camps in the northern Prijedor area, in which about 7,000 Bosniaks and Croats were held and tortured and hundreds killed, as part of the Bosnian Serb operation to "ethnically cleanse" the areas slated for their exclusive Serb state.

Dozens of thousands of Bosniaks and Coats were persecuted from the Prijedor area, and thousands found in mass graves after the war ended. Several thousand people are still missing.

(Published 17 November 2020, 17:41 IST)

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