Prosecutors in Bosnia on Friday indicted 15 ethnic Serb soldiers and police officers with several war crimes, including murder, rape and looting during the country’s inter-ethnic war in 1992. The suspects allegedly killed more than 150 Muslim civilians in the village of Zecovi in northwestern Bosnia.
"It is one of the largest indictments for war crimes in the region of Prijedor,” read a statement issued by the prosecutors' office.
The suspects had all been arrested in recent weeks, reports AFP. Prosecutors also announced that they planned to issue an international arrest warrant for three suspects who were still in hiding.
The suspects were also charged with killing 29 women and children in 1995. Investigators say they have evidence that the victims were killed and buried in a mass grave, but their remains have yet to be found.
The bodies of some of the Zecovi victims were found buried in a mass grave at Tomasica, a village in the same region. The grave was discovered last year in an abandoned mine and is considered to be one of the largest mass graves from the war that ravaged the country between 1992 and 1995. Forensic experts have exhumed 450 bodies from the grave so far, but estimate that as many as 900 Muslims and Croats killed by Serb forces could be buried there.
Bosnian Serbs took control of the Prijedor region at the start of the war, forcing non-Serbs to leave their homes before destroying them. Hundreds of other residents of Zecovi were sent to detention camps where they suffered abuses and were even killed. All 701 Muslims who lived in the village were either killed or driven out.
The former head of the Bosnian Serb army, General Ratko Mladic, and former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic are currently standing trial before a U.N. tribunal at The Hague. Their charges include the roles they allegedly played in wartime atrocities in the Prijedor region.