Serbs face Muslim looting charge

Thursday 17 February 2005, 17:39 Makka Time, 14:39 GMT

Police have pressed charges against six Bosnian Serbs suspected of systematically looting the property of Bosnian Muslim returnees, a spokesman has said.

The six men are suspected in 22 cases of theft targeting Muslim returnee property in the northeastern town of Zvornik, police spokesman Dragomir Peric said on Thursday.

The incidents took place between 2002 and 2005, he said, adding that the suspects had not been detained.

The region of Zvornik was the scene of a notorious ethnic cleansing campaign led by Bosnian Serbs during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

Bosnia's war claimed about 200,000 lives and forced about 2.2 million people or about half of the population to flee their homes.

More than a million Bosnian refugees have returned to their pre-war homes, but the rate of return is much slower in the Serbs' Republika Srpska, which along with the Muslim-Croat Federation makes up post-war Bosnia, UN figures show.


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