updated 11/16/2005 5:39:51 AM ET 2005-11-16T10:39:51

A former Bosnian Muslim army commander was acquitted of war crimes charges Wednesday relating to the massacres of Croat civilians during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Judges at the U.N. war crimes tribunal ordered the immediate release of Sefer Halilovic, 53, saying prosecutors had failed to prove he had been in charge of troops who carried out the killings in the villages of Grabovica and Uzdol.

The villages were occupied during an operation by Muslim forces to capture territory held by Bosnian Croats to end a blockade of the city of Mostar in 1993.

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