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New Envoy for Bosnia Fires Bosnian Serb Police Chief, 35 Officers

The top international mediator in Bosnia-Herzegovina has fired a senior Bosnian Serb police official and 35 Bosnian Serb officers who are suspected of involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Envoy Miroslav Lajcak told reporters in Sarajevo Tuesday that he is dismissing the deputy chief of police in Bosnia's Serb Republic, Dragomir Andan, to prevent him from using his position to assist fugitive war crimes suspects.

Lajcak also ordered the seizure of travel documents of 93 people who are under investigation for war crimes or for helping war crime fugitives evade justice.

The Slovak diplomat, who took office July 1, said his first priority as High Representative is cooperation with the international war crimes tribunal. Lajcak also has enacted measures aimed at preventing war crime suspects from fleeing Bosnian territory to avoid trial.

In 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran the United Nations-protected enclave of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia.

They forced 8,000 Muslim men and boys out of their homes and killed them, in what is considered Europe's worst atrocity since World War II. The bodies of thousands were subsequently found in mass graves.

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