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Serbia Investigates 12 for War Crimes in Croatia


Serbia's war crimes prosecutor has ordered an investigation of 12 former Serb fighters in connection with the mass murder of civilians in Croatia during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s.

The prosecutor's office Wednesday said the group includes former Yugoslav army soldiers and volunteer fighters suspected of involvement in the killing of 70 civilians in the Croatian town of Lovas on the Serbian border.

Wednesday's announcement follows the arrests on Tuesday of seven members of the group.

Eastern Croatia was the scene of fierce fighting between ethnic Croats and Serbs after Zagreb proclaimed independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

After Yugoslav soldiers captured the town of Vukovar, Serb forces killed more than 260 civilians in what became known as the worst massacre of Croatia's war for independence.

Earlier this year, United Nations war crimes prosecutors demanded life prison sentences of Yugoslav military officers who had key roles in the massacre.

The European Union has demanded that the former Yugoslav states cooperate in the hunt for war crimes suspects as a way of rebuilding trust.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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