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Report: US to Deport 150 Bosnians Over War Crimes Ties

FILE - Bosnian Muslims pray near the coffins of relatives during a funeral for bodies found in a mass grave, in Kozarac, near Prijedor, July 20, 2014.

U.S. immigration officials are preparing to deport 150 Bosnians for possible involvement in war crimes in the 1990s, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The newspaper said officials had identified 300 Bosnians who hid their wartime past when they came to the U.S. The officials said that number could be as high as 600.

The Times said those who faced possible deportation included a soccer coach in Virginia, a metalworker in Ohio and four casino employees in Las Vegas.

It said as many as half of the 300 Bosnians identified so far might have taken part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim males — Europe's worst act of genocide since World War II.

A war crimes investigator for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Michael McQueen, told the newspaper that "the idea that the people who did all this damage in Bosnia should have a free pass and a new shot at life is just obscene to me."

The United States has reached out to Bosnians around the world to come forward with any information they may have about war crimes suspects.

Kathleen O'Connor, a human rights prosecutor at the U.S. Justice Department, told VOA that Bosnians can be confident that "justice can be served in the United States, despite the fact that many years have gone by and that the conduct occurred overseas, far away."