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Updated: October 22, 2009 15:07 IST

Mladic and Hadzic will be arrested by end of year: Serbian Govt

AP
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AP

Serbian security officials said on Monday their agencies had stepped up the search for Europe’s most wanted war crimes fugitive, Ratko Mladic.

Security Information Agency official Jovan Stojic said the state and military intelligence services had engaged “all available resources” to locate the wartime Bosnian Serb army commander who has been on the run since 1995.

Mr. Stojic said the agents were also looking for Goran Hadzic, who is sought by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, for war crimes he allegedly committed as the leader of rebel Serbs in Croatia during the 1991-95 war in the republic.

The tribunal has charged Mladic with genocide over the slaughter of tens of thousands of Muslims during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, including the massacre of about 8,000 men and boys in Srebrenica–the worst carnage in Europe since World War II.

“The agencies are doing everything to locate and hand over the two suspects to The Hague,” Mr. Stojic told reporters.

Col. Dejan Jankovic of the military intelligence service said that the state security “want this problem (the arrest of the fugitives) to be resolved as soon as possible.”

Serbian government officials in charge of the hunt for Mladic and Hadzic have said they expect the two to be arrested by the end of this year. They said they were optimistic about what they said is newly established cooperation in the search between Serbia’s civilian and military intelligence services.

The failure to arrest Mladic, who is believed to be hiding in Serbia under the protection of his wartime comrades, has blocked the Balkan state’s accession talks with the European Union.

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