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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Serbs detain mass grave suspects
Coffins of victims found in mass graves
Victims are believed to have been trucked to Serbia
Nine people, including six police officers, have been arrested by Serbian authorities in connection with the deaths of 48 Kosovo Albanians in 1999.

They are accused of killing 48 people, including children, babies and a 100-year-old woman in Suva Reka.

These are the first arrests linked to the 2001 discovery of mass graves containing the remains of more than 800 victims of the Kosovo war.

The 48 were found in graves at Batajnica, near Belgrade.

Autopsies showed they had been executed. The remains were later returned to families in Kosovo.

Suva Reka is on the main road south of the Kosovo capital, Pristina, which was a focus of fighting in the 1998-1999 war between Serbia and the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Relocating bodies

Suva Reka is mentioned in the UN war crimes tribunal's indictment of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and four of his senior officials, issued in May 1999.

Some 10,000 people died during the Kosovo war - most of them ethnic Albanians. More than 3,000 are still missing.

The authorities in Belgrade have been criticised for being slow to return the bodies discovered in mass graves in Serbia proper.

Many of the killings are thought to have taken place in Kosovo before the bodies were driven in lorries to locations around Serbia.


SEE ALSO
Serbia returns bodies to Kosovo
27 May 05 |  Europe
The charges against Milosevic
05 Jul 04 |  Europe
Bosnia's largest mass grave
30 Jul 03 |  Europe
Country profile: Serbia and Montenegro
08 Dec 04 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Kosovo
03 Dec 04 |  Country profiles

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