Bosnia: 4 detained in war crimes investigation

- SIPA detains 4 people in the northern Bosnia where numerous war crimes were carried out against Bosniaks.

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (AA) - The Bosnia and Herzegovina State Investigation and Protection Agency detained on Tuesday four men suspected of war crimes committed in the northwest of the country.

The State Investigation and Protection Agency, or SIPA, is the official state police agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is vital to the country’s security because most other police forces are divided among ethnic lines.

According to a written statement made by the Prosecutor's Office, Goran Mrca, Milorad Mrca, Ranko Mrca and Mile Kokot were detained on Tuesday.

The detainments took place during an operation conducted by SIPA against those suspected of committing war crimes against civilians in Sanski Most and Prijedor.

These two regions were the scenes of numerous war crimes carried out by the Serb political and military leadership against Bosniaks, or Bosnian Muslims, during the Bosnian War.

The four men are suspected of carrying out crimes including the massacring, rape and torture of Bosnian civilians in the northwest of the country as members of the Army of Republika Srpska during the 1992-95 Bosnian War.

Around 5,200 Bosniaks and Croats were killed or disappeared during what became known as the Prijedor ethnic cleansing.

It was the second-largest massacre committed during the war after the Srebrenica genocide, according to the Research and Documentation Center.

The city is known for its Catholic, Orthodox Christian and Islamic heritage.

SIPA detained 12 people between the ages of 43 and 71 on Nov. 17 suspected of carrying out crimes against humanity in the city of Prijedor.

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