THE GUARDIAN (UK)
Friday 11 August 2001
Street snatch of war suspect
British and other Nato-led peacekeepers yesterday seized a
senior Bosnian Serb army commander wanted by the Hague war
crimes tribunal in connection with the Srebrenica massacre six
Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic, a serving member of the Bosnian
Serb army, was arrested near Banja Luka in the northwest of the
According to British defence sources the SAS - whose soldiers
have captured a number of war crimes suspects - was not
involved in this operation.
Col Blagojevic led the 1st Bratunac brigade of the Bosnian Serb
army's Drina corps. It operated in Bratunac and Srebrenica,
eastern towns purged of non-Serbs during Bosnia's ethnic war of
The UN tribunal refused to comment yesterday, but Bosnian
Serb police and military sources were reported as saying Col
Blagojevic was wanted on a sealed indictment. The charges are
believed to relate to crimes in Srebrenica, where up to 8,000
Muslim men were slaughtered after the town fell to Serb forces
in July 1995.
The Bosnian Serb deputy interior minister, Zeljko Janjetovic,
said Col Blagojevic was stopped by a civilian vehicle while
driving his car, and that five or six men in uniform pulled him out.
Other sources said he and a fellow officer were on their way to a
meeting on clearing landmines called by S-For peacekeepers
when two British military Jeeps and two civilian vehicles
approached his car.
Several people jumped from the vehicles, used rubber bullets to
smash the windows, pulled Col Blagojevic out, and sped off,
these witnesses said.
A Reuters photographer saw an abandoned vehicle with
smashed front windows on the outskirts of Banja Luka.
* Prosecutors charged Slobodan Milosevic's daughter, Marija,
32, yesterday with firing a pistol into the air during the former
president's arrest in Belgrade in April.