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Bosnia: Karadzic claims Srebrenica victim count drastically increased

last update: March 28, 17:44

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The Hague, 28 March (AKI) - Wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic told the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on Wednesday the number of Muslims killed by Bosnian Serb forces in eastern town of Srebrenica in July 1995 has been drastically increased.

Cross-examining prosecution witness Dusan Janc, Karadzic said the number of Srebrenica victims was much smaller than 7,000 as claimed by the prosecution. He said in Srebrenica memorial grave had been buried many Muslim soldiers who were killed in fighting, as well as those who died before or after 1995.

Karadzic has been charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the forces under his command. The indictment centers on a massacre of about some 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica and 44-month siege and shelling of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

He was arrested in Belgrade and 2008 and has denied the charges. As an example of manipulations with figures, Karadzic said that only about one hundred of Muslims prisoners were killed in the village of Kravica, near Srebrenica, not 1,000 as claimed by the prosecution.

He said there was a total of 150 prisoners in Kravica and “the number of killed has been increased ten times”. Karadzic said there “were no planned and premeditated executions” in Kravica.

The killings started after an incident in which a Muslim prisoner snatched a gun from a Serb guard and killed one Serb policeman, he said.

The witness confirmed that the killings were preceded by that incident, but said he had no knowledge that other victims, except those from Srebrenica, were buried in Srebrenica memorial grave.

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