Police in Serbia and Bosnia arrested 15 people today in a wartime massacre case that traumatized the Balkans and came to symbolize a culture of impunity that still shields notorious wartime death squads and their masters. Prosecutors from Serbia and Bosnia, bitter wartime enemies, say they worked together to crack the case of the Strpci massacre of Feb. 27, 1993, in which 19 men, all non-Serbs, were snatched off a train and killed at the height of the Balkans conflict.
Officers carried out pre-dawn sweeps that netted five in Serbia and 10 in Bosnia, including the brother of a jailed warlord, ex-militia members, and a former Bosnian Serb general who commanded the military in the area. The question now is whether the suspects will point to the men above them who ordered the killings, investigators say. If so, they could implicate some of Serbia's top current leaders, who were prominent in the war machine of Slobodan Milosevic, the president at the time. While the Serbian government now acknowledges Strpci as a war crime, the killers are still seen by some in Serbia as war heroes.