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2 Bosnian Serbs Get Life Prison Terms for Srebrenica Massacre

A U.N. war crimes tribunal has convicted two Bosnian Serbs of genocide and sentenced them to life in prison for their roles in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of thousands of Muslim males.

The Hague-based tribunal on Thursday also sentenced a third Bosnian Serb officer to a 35-year prison term for aiding and abetting genocide. Four other defendants were found guilty of lesser crimes and sentenced to prison terms of four to 19 years.

Prosecutors described chief defendants Vujadin Popovic and Ljubia Beara as high-ranking security officers with the Bosnian Serb army that overran Muslim forces and U.N. troops near the Srebrenica enclave in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina. Army officer Drago Nikolic was a brigade security commander.

The slaughter of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys at several locations near Srebrenica was the worst massacre on European soil since World War II.

All three principal defendants were in the military chain of command under fugitive Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, who has eluded arrest for 15 years.

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic is currently on trial in The Hague for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

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