updated 4/3/2008 5:37:34 PM ET 2008-04-03T21:37:34

A retired Croatian army general suspected in a grisly quadruple murder died Thursday during a shootout with police that also killed one officer, police said.

Ivan Korade was hiding in a house in his village in northern Croatia when police searching for him surrounded it, police chief Marijan Benko said.

Korade — who was widely praised for his role in the 1991 Serb-Croat war during which he lost one arm — barricaded himself in the house, ignored police calls to surrender and opened fire on officers with a machine gun, killing one of them, Benko said.

"At the end when we entered the facility he was found dead," Benko said.

The police chief said Korade, 44, committed suicide, and that his body was found surrounded by bombs and several other weapons, Benko said. An autopsy was pending, he added.

On Tuesday, Korade was charged with the March 27 killing of four people in his village of Velika Veternicka: a 16-year-old boy, his 62-year-old grandmother and two men, including a former Korade aide.

Korade disappeared after the killings and hundreds of police officers, backed by helicopters, had searched for him in the village and in nearby hills and abandoned mines.

Korade became widely known in Croatia after fighting in the war with rebel Serbs and retired in 1997.

In 2001, he was convicted of violent behavior and maltreatment of a man six years earlier and  received a suspended eight-month sentence.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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