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Ex-Bosnian Serb paramilitary soldier arrested in France over 1992 killings of 59 civilians


SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — French police detained a former Bosnian Serb paramilitary soldier suspected of locking dozens of civilians inside a house before setting it ablaze, killing 59 people during the 1992-95 war, Bosnian authorities said.

Radomir Susnjar was arrested in France on Friday morning at the request of Bosnian authorities, prosecutors said in a statement.

Susnjar is suspected of taking part in the July 1992 killing of 59 Muslim Bosniak civilians in the eastern town of Visegrad. Victims, including a 2-day-old baby, were locked into a house, which was then set ablaze. Those who attempted to flee were shot at.

Susnjar is suspected of "personally locking up the victims in the house and setting it on fire" the statement said. It added that Susnjar should "soon" be extradited to Bosnia to stand trial.

The killings in Visegrad were among the first carried out by Serb forces on the local Muslim Bosniak population during the war.

The U.N. war crimes court in The Hague, Netherlands, sentenced several Bosnian Serbs to decades in prison for the Visegrad killing spree.

When sentencing ringleader Milan Lukic to life imprisonment in 2009, judge Patrick Robinson said the burning of civilians to death "exemplified the worst acts of inhumanity that one person may inflict on others."

More than 100,000 people were killed during the Bosnian war, which also turned half of the country's population of 4.3 million into refugees.

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