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Two Muslims, one Serb jailed for Bosnian war crimes

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A court in Sarajevo on Friday jailed three former soldiers -- two Bosnian Muslims and one Serb -- for war crimes against civilians during the country's devastating 1992-95 war.

Izet Arifovic was found guilty of killing three Serb civilians detained by Muslim soldiers in 1992, and sentenced to 10 years in jail.

In the first incident, Arifovic, now 58, killed two people outside a police station in Srebrenica in July 1992, judge Stanisa Gluhajic said.

The victims were armed civilians who had handed over their weapons and surrendered to Muslim soldiers who attacked their village, Zalazje.

The victims were among at least nine detained civilians from the village, all of whom were killed. The remains of eight of them were found in 2010 in a mass grave in Zalazje.

A month earlier, Arifovic also killed a civilian in the village of Ratkovici, judge Gluhajic found.

A Bosnian Muslim comrade in arms, Suad Smajlovic, 52, was sentenced to 14 months in prison Friday for firing rounds into the corpses of Serb civilians loaded onto a truck for transport in July 1992.

In a separate trial, the tribunal sentenced former Serb soldier Milisav Ikonic to nine years in jail for repeatedly raping a 20-year-old Muslim woman in the eastern town of Rogatica.

In July 1992, he took the woman from a school where she was detained, to an apartment "where he had pushed her on a bed, hitting her, before he raped her," judge Halil Lagumdzija said.

Ikonic, now 59, raped the woman repeatedly over six days, "which resulted in physical and psychological" wounds, the judge added.

The 1992-1995 war between Bosnia's Croats, Muslims, and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives.

According to victims' groups, 2,428 Serb civilians and fighters were killed in the Srebrenica region alone.

A retrial of Srebrenica Muslim wartime commander Naser Oric on warcrimes charges started earlier this month.

In October 2017, Oric was acquitted by a Sarajevo court of killing three Serb prisoners at the start of the war, but the ruling was overturned in June for procedural reasons.

Serb forces slaughtered some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Srebrenica massacre, the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II.

Some 50 former Serb soldiers were sentenced for that crime, deemed genocide by the international justice system. They included Bosnian Serb wartime political and military leaders, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.

More than 20,000 women and girls were raped during Bosnia's war.

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