Serb police raid Belgrade apartments

A special police unit raided several apartments in Belgrade Friday as part of the search for war crimes suspect Rakto Mladic, Serbia's state-run television reported.

The report, which cited an unidentified Interior Ministry official, gave no other details and did not say whether it brought authorities any closer to finding the former Bosnian Serb military commander.

Earlier this week, the U.N. war crimes tribunal's chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, said Mladic was hiding in the Belgrade area, changing apartments daily.

Judges, meanwhile, ordered three people who were arrested Thursday to be held in custody for one month pending an investigation into suspicions they had been helping Mladic to avoid capture, said a spokeswoman for Belgrade District Court, Marina Klaric-Zivkovic.

The former general is wanted by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, on charges of genocide from Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

Altogether, eight people have been rounded up in recent months on suspicion of assisting Mladic, whose capture has become the main condition before Serbia can be considered for European Union membership.

The EU on Wednesday suspended pre-membership negotiations with Serbia-Montenegro after Belgrade missed an April 30 deadline for Mladic's capture.

Mladic has been charged with genocide for the slaughter of up to 8,000 Muslims in eastern Bosnia in 1995, reports the AP.


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