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Police Converge on Milosevic Home

March 30, 2001

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Police vehicles converged on the house of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on Friday after an aide said the former strongman was likely to be arrested.

The aide, Branislav Ivkovic, head of the pro-Milosevic Socialist Party faction in the Serbian parliament told deputies that a ``number of people in black uniforms and an ambulance car are heading toward Milosevic’s house″ in Belgrade’s Dedinje district.

He said Milosevic was likely to be arrested.

As rumors about a possible arrest spread, dozens of Milosevic supporters who have been guarding his residence and numerous journalists gathered near the home. Some police vehicles were also seen at the site.

A police official who asked not to be named told The Associated Press that Serbia’s State Security attempted to replace Milosevic’s bodygards. Milosevic reportedly refused to accept the change. The report could not be immediately confirmed.

According to the same official, Gen. Senta Milenkovic and a group of bodyguards responsible for Milosevic’s security agreed to be replaced while others refused and were reportedly fired. It was not clear how many bodyguards remained on duty.

Yugoslav authorities have long maintained that if Milosevic is to be tried for crimes committed during his wartorn years in power, it would be by a Yugoslav court.

The U.S. Congress set a Saturday deadline for Belgrade to begin cooperating with the U.N. war crimes tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands or face suspension of $100 million in economic aid.

Since his ouster from power last October, Milosevic has lived under police surveillance in his villa.

Last weekend, he made a defiant public appearance in front of his home, addressing his followers who came to express their support.

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