WORLD BRIEFING / SERBIA

Times Wire Reports

Serbian prosecutors filed war crimes charges against 17 former Kosovo guerrillas in the murder, rape and torture of Serb civilians.

The indictment said the suspects are charged in the kidnapping of 159 Serbs and the deaths of at least 51 of them in the eastern Kosovo town of Gnjilane after the 1998-99 war.

They are charged with "murder, rape, detention, mutilation, torture and looting," the indictment said. The charges carry up to 20 years in jail.

Nine of the men were arrested in December in a predominantly Albanian-populated region of Serbia. The others are at large and were charged in absentia.

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