Kosovo Rebels Face Murder Charges in War Crimes Court

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Seventeen former Kosovo rebels went on trial Wednesday before the Serbian war crimes court, charged with murder, rape and torture of Serb civilians in 1999.

Nine of the men were arrested in December in a predominantly Albanian-populated region of Serbia bordering Kosovo. Eight of the suspects are at large and were accused in absentia.

The indictment accuses the men of the kidnapping of 153 Serbs and the deaths of at least 80 of them in the eastern Kosovo town of Gnjilane following Kosovo's war for independence.

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