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Serb police raid Mladic son's house
Forces in hunt for fugitive former army commander wanted on war crimes charges.
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2010 10:55 GMT
Mladic is wanted by the war crimes tribunal in  for his role in the 1992-5 Bosnian war [EPA]

Serbian police are carrying out a raid on a Belgrade house in search of Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army commander wanted on war crimes and genocide charges.

Masked and armed special forces blocked the street of a house believed to belong to Maldic's son Darko on Tuesday morning, in the first major raid for the fugitive since October last year.

Local media said Darko had arrived at the home last night after being away from it for a while.

Mladic has been at large since he was indicted by the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1995.

He is wanted for war crimes carried out in the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, including his alleged role in the 1995 massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

Mladic had lived freely in Serbia under protection from the nationalists before going into hiding a few years ago.

At the end of last year, the head of a Serbian unit hunting for Mladic resigned over his team's failure to arrest the fugitive.

Rasim Ljajic had said in September that he would quit if the former Bosnian Serb army commander was not handed over to a UN war crimes tribunal by the end of 2009.

'Popular figure'

Aljosa Milenkovic, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Belgrade, said Mladic still remains a popular figure in Serbia.

"Mladic and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic are still regarded by opinion polls here in Serbia as important figures that shouldn't be apprehended.

"According to the latest opinions polls the majority of Serbs will not like to see Mladic arrested and delivered to the Hague.

"But when people are asked if they would trade Ratko Mladic for a better European future, then the majority of Serbs are willing and ready to do that. So Mladic at large is a big problem for Serbs and Serbia's future."

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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