NATO Knocks Out Karadzic Power Base

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BANJA LUKA, Bosnia: An unusually aggressive NATO raid here has set the stage for a potentially violent showdown between rival Serb factions. A force of 350 heavily-armed British troops backed by American Apache choppers knocked out the local power base of hardline leader and wanted war criminal Radovan Karadzic and met no resistance.

The offensive put 31,000 NATO peacekeepers clearly in direct opposition to Serb wartime leaders still in command of thousands of police officers as well as the Serbian economy. It split the Bosnian Serb sector into two regions: one controlled by Karadzic and the other by his official successor, President Biljana Plavsic.