Word on the street: 'I cried with happiness. Today, for the first time, I feel like the war has ended'

Hundreds of people braved the rain to pour out into the streets of Sarajevo to celebrate the capture of Radovan Karadzic, but few were more jubilant than Nidzara Ahmetasevic, 34.

"I cried with happiness," she said. "We just believed they would always remain at large and never be punished. Today, for the first time, I really feel like the war has ended."

Wounded during the bombing of Sarajevo when she was still a teenager, she then had to undergo surgery in a hospital lacking anaesthetic, and came around on a bed covered in blood that was not hers. Now she just wants one thing. "He must be taken to the court, so that the stories of all of his victims can be heard, everything he has said and done, and also who helped him do it," she said.

For Edin Ramulic, the happy day of Mr Karadzic's capture came as he was preparing to bury the remains of his father, who died in Keraterm, one of the Serb concentration camps set by Mr Karadzic and listed in his indictment. More than half of the dozen male members of the Ramulic family were tortured and killed in these camps and Edin considers himself lucky, having escaped after four days.

He said: "The arrest came at the perfect time for my family. With that and the burial, now we have closure."

Bakira Hasecic, one of thousands of rape victims in Bosnia, who today heads the group Women Victims of War, said that she did not know whether to cry with happiness or anguish. "Justice has finally reached the most important war criminal in Europe and the world."

Others reacted with incredulity. In northern Bosnia, the organiser of a rock concert interrupted to announce the news, but received only laughter from the audience for a good joke. Only after mobile phones rang and rang did the crowd grasp the enormity of what had happened.

Nura Begovic, who lives right next to the cemetery in Potocari where victims of the Srebrenica massacre are buried, said she had been glued to the television since the news broke on Monday night. She remembers enduring the entire siege of Srebrenica, during which time she lost her brother, mother-in-law and father-in-law. "Whatever happens to Karadzic at the court, it will not be as horrible as the things he did to our people," she said.

Reaction from many Bosnian-Serbs was muted. A local TV station showed a reporter asking people in the northern city of Banja Luka about the arrest. Most said "no comment", one called it "a tragedy".

But in the centre of Belgrade, there were minor skirmishes between police and nationalists, who see Mr Karadzic and Mr Mladic as defenders of the Serb nation.

And in neighbouring Montenegro, where Mr Karadzic was born, people reacted in disgust. "I am very sad that this has happened to Radovan," said Vukosav Karadzic, from his native village of Petnjica. "I am sorry he did not kill himself but allowed himself to be captured."

Views from the Balkan blogosphere

Borisav Condovic on www.politika.co.yu

"A disgrace for the Serbian people. To sell our leader and hero in this way, and the same people attacking and destroying us will set more conditions. What's next? Recognise Kosovo? We've lost so much land – now our honour too."

Do Kraja on www.b92.net

"Now we only have to keep safe all those who have helped this arrest. Thank you for your courage and bravery. You are the Serbian heroes, not Karadzic."

Voja on www.blic.co.yu

"He didn't listen to the advice by the radicals to kill himself before being captured. He would have been a greater hero and a greater Serb had he surrendered himself. This way he actually proved who he was and what he really is. They should sell that other hero as well, so that we can finish this farce."

RASA on www.politika.co.yu

"We are sick incurable nation. We will destroy ourselves."

Franko Fotto on www.b92.net

"Every honest citizen of Serbia welcomes the capture of Karadzic."

Alex on www.blic.co.yu

"Thank you... Finally, this is a great step towards Europe and final justice for the criminals, there's only Mladic left."

Mara Katanic on www.politika.co.yu

"I don't know why, but I am not sure whether this is good news or not, although I know our government must be obedient to its European and American sponsor."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C++ Software Developer / Image Processing / 3D Visualisation

£45,000 to £55,000: IT Connections Ltd: C++ Software Developer / Image Process...

Java / J2EE Developer / Agile / Linux

£30,000 to £40,000: IT Connections Ltd: Java / J2EE Developer / Agile / Linux ...

Software Development Manager / Java / J2EE

£45,000 to £55,000: IT Connections Ltd: Software Development Manager / Java / ...

Digital Content Manager,Leicester

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Charter Selection: Leading Nationwide and important...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor