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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 March, 2004, 03:10 GMT
Karadzic search ends in failure
Radovan Karadzic
Karadzic may be trying to cross into Serbia
Bosnian Serb police say they have ended a large-scale search for the former Bosnian Serb leader and indicted war crimes suspect, Radovan Karadzic.

"We have not arrested Karadzic. The operation is over," police spokesman Dragomir Peric told AFP.

Nato-led S-For troops said its soldiers had a small role in the operation.

Mr Karadzic is wanted by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague to face genocide charges stemming from the Bosnian war in the 1990s.

S-For has been making increasing efforts to find Mr Karadzic and his supporters before it hands over its mission to a European Union force by the end of this year.

In less than two years, it has carried out four operations to arrest him. All of them have failed.

Border watched

Bosnian Serb police chief Radomir Njegus told local media that his forces had been conducting an operation in the area of Bratunac, near the border with Serbia.

He said special forces had surrounded the region.

They had received information that Mr Karadzic was planning to cross the border, he added.

Witnesses told AFP news agency that S-For troops had been observing the border from hills outside the town.

Correspondents say the Bosnian Serb Republic, which along with the Muslim-Croat federation makes up post-war Bosnia, has never arrested a war crimes suspect.

But the entity is under intense pressure to capture Mr Karadzic, as Bosnia seeks closer ties with Nato and the EU.

The BBC's Mathew Charles
"In less than two years, only four operations have been launched to arrest Karadzic"

Nato releases Karadzic aide
10 Mar 04  |  Europe
Nato raids former Karadzic base
19 Feb 04  |  Europe
UN says Karadzic is in Belgrade
11 Feb 04  |  Europe
US crackdown on 'Karadzic aides'
09 Feb 04  |  Europe
Where are Karadzic and Mladic?
06 Jul 01  |  Europe
Profile: Radovan Karadzic
17 Jan 02  |  Europe

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