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Bosnia: Witness in Karadzic trial describes killing of 1,000 Muslims

last update: January 10, 17:41

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The Hague, 10 Jan. (AKI) - A prosecution witness in the trial of wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic described on Tuesday before the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia how he survived the killing of 1,000 Muslims in eastern town of Srebrenica in July 1995.

Protected witness listed as KDZZ-045 said he was among some twelve to fifteen thousand Muslims when Bosnian Serb forces under Karadzic’s command overran the UN protected enclave.

About one third of Muslims were armed and tried to fight their way out of Srebrenica, but he surrendered when Serb soldiers said the prisoners would be exchanged, the witness said.

But a day later the prisoners were taken to a village of Petkovci, near Srebrenica, where they were placed in a local school. At night they were taken out in groups and killed at a nearby filed, the witness said.

The witness said he was wounded by one bullet and pretended he was dead, and in the morning managed to escape to Muslim controlled territory. Some 1,000 Muslims were killed in Petkovci, he added.

The witness admitted he was a member of Muslim armed forces and Karadzic suggested those killed were “the victims of a civil war”. But the witness retorted it “wasn’t civil war, but an attack on Muslim population”.

Karadzic challenged the witness’ being present at the killings, saying there were many contradictions in his testimony. Asked by Karadzic how long the killings lasted, the witness replied he would be “ashamed of asking that question” because of 1,000 people killed in Petkovci.

Karadzic has been charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Bosnian Serb forces in 1992-1995 Bosnian war. The indictment centers on a massacre of some 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica and 44-month siege and shelling of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

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