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Srebrenica's Muslim defender acquitted of crimes against Serbs

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Srebrenica's Muslim defender acquitted of crimes against Serbs

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SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Bosnian Muslim commander Naser Oric, who led the defence of Srebrenica during the 1992-95 war, was acquitted of war crimes against Serbs on Monday, a ruling that is set to deepen ethnic divisions 22 years after the conflict ended. Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs had accused Oric’s men of killing Serb civilians in and around Srebrenica earlier in the war. Srebrenica eventually fell to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995 – the ensuing killing of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys was seen as Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two. “The accused Naser Oric and Sabahudin Muhic have been acquitted of charges of violating provisions of the Geneva Conventions,” judge Saban Maksumic told the Bosnian war crimes court, referring to one of Oric’s fellow soldiers. Families of the Serb victims walked out the courtroom protesting against the verdict. Bosnian Muslims or Bosniaks view Oric as a national hero for defending the doomed eastern enclave.

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
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