European Union troops raided the home of an alleged supporter of fugitive war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic on Monday to try to find clues about his hiding place.
The U.N. war crimes tribunal asked for the operation at the home of Dragan Sojic in the wartime Bosnian Serb stronghold of Pale, east of Sarajevo, a statement from the European Union forces said.
"It is believed that Dragan Sojic is associated with the Radovan Karadzic support network," it said.
Troops, backed by police, hoped to find material or information to help the tribunal in the search for Karadzic and to put pressure on his supporters, the statement said.
The U.N. tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has indicted Karadzic, along with his wartime military commander, with orchestrating the 1995 massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim boys and men from Srebrenica — Europe's worst carnage since World War II — and laying a three-year siege to the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.
Believed to have strong backing
Karadzic disappeared in 1998. He is believed to be hiding in the Serb-controlled half of Bosnia or in Serbia.
Karadzic and his wartime military chief, Gen. Ratko Mladic, are the two most-wanted suspects sought by the U.N. tribunal, based in The Hague, Netherlands.
NATO and EU peacekeepers have failed to catch him and officials believe he has a strong network of supporters enabling to remain at large. Mladic is believed to be hiding in neighboring Serbia.
Bosnia is embroiled in a political crisis following a rejection by Bosnian Serbs of a reform plan proposed by the country's international administrator.
Bosnia's Serbs prefer to keep their mini-state — Republika Srpska — as autonomous as possible, while Bosniaks and Croats who share the rest of the country, would like to see Bosnia enter the EU as a unified country.
EU defense ministers expressed concern Monday about political tensions and pledged to maintain the EU's 2,500 peacekeepers in Bosnia.