Gen. Zivota Panic, 70; Former Head of Yugoslav Army

From Staff and Wire Reports

Gen. Zivota Panic, 70, who headed the former Yugoslav army in the early years of the Balkan wars, died Wednesday, the army of Serbia-Montenegro, the loose union that replaced Yugoslavia earlier this year, announced in Belgrade. No cause of death was given.

Panic was army chief of staff in 1992, when the former Yugoslavia broke up in a series of bloody wars. The Yugoslav army sided with Serbian rebels in Croatia and Bosnia, who took up arms to fight against their republic's independence.

At the time, Panic was loyal to then-Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who is widely accused of fomenting the wars.

Milosevic is on trial at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

Panic was removed from the post after an alleged corruption affair and retired in 1993.

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