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Srebrenica Muslims accuse Serb authorities of harassment

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The mayor of Srebrenica has accused Serb authorities of using the pretext of investigating Islamic extremists to harass Muslims who returned to the town following the country’s 1992-95 war.

Camil Durakovic, himself a Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim), said Thursday that Serb police stormed returnees’ homes and arrested people without explanation. He called it a “form of repression.”

“Terrorism is a serious global problem and we must all fight against it, but you cannot use it as an excuse to send masked, armed men to search houses of Bosniaks and arrest people without any evidence,” Durakovic said.

Bosnian Serb police on Wednesday raided a few dozen locations and detained 30 people, including two in Srebrenica, on suspicion of links with Islamic extremists.

The operation comes after a Muslim gunman killed one policeman and wounded two others as he stormed into a police station in northeast Bosnia yelling “Allahu akbar” last week. Investigators believe the 24-year-old gunman was linked to Islamic extremists.

Serbs killed more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995.

After the war, Bosnia was split into two semiautonomous parts, the Serb-run Republika Srpska and a federation shared by Bosniaks and Croats. Each has its own president, government and police, but are linked by weak state-level institutions. Srebrenica remains in the Serb-run half.

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