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Last Updated: Friday, 24 December, 2004, 13:04 GMT
Nato arrest fugitive's 'helper'
Ratko Mladic
Nato still has troops in Bosnia hunting Ratko Mladic
Nato troops in Bosnia have arrested an ex-Bosnian Serb policeman suspected of helping a fugitive war crimes suspect.

Nato would not say who the man, Dusan Tesic, is thought to have helped.

It is the second time Mr Tesic has been detained by Nato troops searching for former Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.

The two men have been indicted by the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Nato announced Mr Tesic's arrest on Friday, calling him "an alleged supporter of a person indicted for war crimes".

The statement added that "Nato believes that this individual has valuable information" on a network helping those indicted for war crimes. Mr Tesic is being held at a secure location for further investigation.

Tunnel complex

Mr Karadzic and Mr Mladic's indictments include the slaughter of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in July 1995 when Bosnian Serbs overran the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica.

Inside Mladic's bunker

Earlier this month, Nato handed over peacekeeping duties in Bosnia to the 7,000-strong European force, or Eufor, but left a small number of troops to help with the hunt for war crimes suspects.

Diplomatic sources have accused the Bosnian Serb army of helping Mr Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander.

They say that as recent as this summer, he was being sheltered at a military centre near the town of Han Pijesak in the east of the country.

The well-equipped complex includes tunnels and caves leading to nearby forests. Despite a Nato attempt to arrest him at the time, he managed to slip the net.

Bosnian Serb politicians and security officials have always denied knowledge of the whereabouts of Mr Karadzic and Mr Mladic.




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