Tags: Karadzic | war | crimes | own

Ex-Bosnian Chief Says Muslims Killed Their Own

Tuesday, 02 Mar 2010 10:28 PM

Former Bosnian Serb leader tells war crimes trial 'alleged' siege of city was a myth intended to draw Nato into conflict.

Radovan Karadzic on Tuesday accused Bosnian Muslim forces of killing their own people in Sarajevo in order to engineer a western intervention against Bosnian Serbs.

The former Bosnian Serb leader made the claim as he defended himself against charges of genocide and other war crimes at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

On the second day of his opening statement to the tribunal, Karadzic sought to rewrite the historical record on the 44-month siege of Sarajevo – the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare.

Bosnian Serb forces encircled the city from 1992 to 1996, shelling it with artillery, mortars and anti-aircraft guns.

It is estimated that almost 10,000 people, including more than 1,500 children, were killed. A further 56,000 were wounded.

One of the 11 indictments against Karadzic is for the siege, which he described as a "myth" aimed at drawing Nato into the conflict on the side of Bosnian Muslims.

In a lengthy, rambling defence – during which he used detailed maps of the city – he claimed Bosnian Muslim forces had turned schools, hospitals and nurseries into military installations during the siege, making them legitimate targets for Serbian forces.

"We were accused of firing indiscriminately at Sarajevo, but the targets were legitimate targets," he told the court.

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Former Bosnian Serb leader tells war crimes trial 'alleged' siege of city was a myth intended to draw Nato into conflict.
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