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Serb War Crimes Suspect Killed

August 8, 1998

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ A war crimes suspect wanted by the U.N. tribunal for atrocities allegedly committed during the Bosnian war died in a bar brawl in Serbia, sources said today.

Slobodan Miljkovic, also known by his nom de guerre, Lugar, died in a drunken brawl late Friday in his hometown of Kragujevac, 60 miles southeast of Belgrade, a police source said on condition of anonymity.

Miljkovic was indicted by the U.N. War Crimes tribunal at The Hague for allegedly participating in mass killings in the northeastern Bosnian town of Bosanski Samac in 1992. He was also wanted on three counts of individual murder and numerous beatings.

Known as a thug and shady underworld figure before the war, Miljkovic returned to Serbia after the war because authorities in Belgrade were not willing to extradite him to The Hague.

According to local radio reports, Miljkovic and a friend started a violent brawl in a bar when the bar owner, an ex-policeman, tried to stop them from molesting a waitress.

Miljkovic, his friend and the bar owner were all fatally shot in the fight and several others were wounded, the report said.

In March, Miljkovic gave an interview to a Belgrade paper, proclaiming his innocence and blaming the war on politicians.

``The war is over and we are declared war criminals. What about those who sent me there?″ Miljkovic was quoted by Demokratija daily as saying. ``They pushed us into war, they explained to us the goals and aims. And now we are war criminals and they are still in their positions.″

In the past six weeks, two other Serb suspects, both already at The Hague, have died. One committed suicide, the other died of ruptured aorta.

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