Serbia charges three ex-soldiers with war crimes

Serbia's war crimes prosecutor on Friday charged three former army officers with the murder of at least 46 Kosovan civilians during the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo.

The three, one of whom is a member of a Serbian special police unit, were also indicted for war crimes committed against ethnic Albanian civilians in the western Kosovo village of Ljubenic, the prosecutor said in a statement.

In addition to the murder charges, other accusations include seriously wounding 11 other ethnic Albanians and forcibly displacing women, children and the elderly.

The war in Kosovo claimed around 13,000 lives before a NATO-led air campaign halted late strongman Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown on the pro-independence Kosovo Albanians and ousted his forces from the territory in June 1999.

Six top Serbian political, military and police officials have been convicted for war crimes committed in Kosovo by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The Hague-based UN war crimes tribunal handles senior war crimes cases from the Yugoslav wars while Serbian courts deal with lower-ranked suspects.