Serbia assails 'war crimes' of ex-allies

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The Independent Online
BELGRADE - The Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic turned on his Bosnian Serb counterparts yesterday, accusing them of war crimes for the first time and blaming them for disloyalty, warmongering and corruption.

The Serbian leader also accused his former allies of persecuting innocent civilians and of 'ethnic cleansing'.

Mr Milosevic used Zoran Lilic, president of rump Yugoslavia, as a mouthpiece for the attack. He assailed the Bosnian warlords for allowing 'ethnic cleansing', for shelling civilians in Sarajevo and trying to spread the war to Serbia proper. Mirolsav Toholj, the Bosnian Serb information minister, said the speech contained 'untruths and unseemly language'.

The blistering attack came as a UN official reported that, in a new round of 'ethnic cleansing', Bosnian Serbs had driven 38 Muslims from their homes after giving them five minutes to pack and robbing them. In the mainly Muslim enclave of Bihac five children were killed and seven injured when a shell landed on a crowd of students leaving a school. A UN spokesman said the shell came from a nearby Serb-held part of Croatia. Reuter