Page last updated at 22:52 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009

Serbs ordered to pay for mosques


Serb authorities in Bosnia-Hercegovina have been ordered to pay $42m (£26m) to local Muslims for the destruction of mosques during the Bosnian civil war.

All 16 mosques in Banja Luka, the main town of the Serb-run Republika Srpska, were destroyed in the 1992-1995 war.

A lawyer for the area's Muslim community said the local court verdict was of historic importance.

Hundreds of religious buildings were destroyed in the conflict, in which about 100,000 civilians were killed.

The local court ruling came nine years after the Bosnian Islamic Community sued the Bosnian Serb government and Banja Luka city authorities for the destruction of the shrines in 1993.

The Islamic Community said more than 1,000 of its objects were destroyed or damaged during the war.

"For us, what is far more important than material compensation is that for the first time Republika Srpska has taken complete responsibility for the destruction of the mosques," SRNA news agency quoted the Islamic Community's lawyer Esad Hrvacic as saying.

The Dayton peace agreement signed in 1995 created two semi-state entities: Republika Srpska for the Serbs, and the Bosniak-Croat Federation for Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) and Croats.

Print Sponsor

Karadzic backs war ally's appeal
05 Nov 08 |  Europe
Karadzic refuses war crimes pleas
29 Aug 08 |  Europe
Karadzic's broken Bosnia remains
17 Sep 08 |  Europe
Country profile: Bosnia-Hercegovina
12 Jan 12 |  Country profiles
Old Bosnian Serb plan 'thriving'
28 Jul 08 |  Europe

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific