SARAJEVO, Oct 26 (AFP) -
Nine people including six acting Serbian policemen have been arrested on suspicion of killing 48 ethnic Albanian civilians in the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict, a spokesman for Serbia's war crimes prosecutor said here Wednesday.
"The nine are suspected of having taken part in the murders of 48 civilians including four babies, 10 children, a pregnant woman and an 100-year-old woman," Bruno Vekaric told AFP.
The atrocities had taken place in the small town of Suva Reka, about 60 kilometers (36 miles) southwest of Kosovo's main city of Pristina, said Vekaric.
The remains of the victims were found in a mass grave in Batajnica, a suburb of the Serbian capital Belgrade, Vekaric said, adding the nine were questioned by a magistrate and that the prosecution demanded they be kept in custody.
The arrests are the first of acting Serbian policemen for their possible role in war crimes committed during the Kosovo conflict, which claimed an estimated 10,000 lives.
The remains of some 800 ethnic Albanians killed during the war were found in mass graves across Serbia after the collapse of the regime of former president Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000.
Three mass graves have since been found in Serbia including the one at the secret police training camp in Batajnica, which was discovered in 2001.
The remains of 834 ethnic Albanians have been exhumed from the sites, according to legal authorities in Belgrade. Some 635 of them have been identified and delivered to their families in Kosovo.
Kosovo, which is a province of Serbia, has been under UN protection since a NATO bombing campaign forced Serbian forces to withdraw in 1999 and end a crackdown against ethnic Albanian separatists.
Milosevic is on trial at the UN war crimes court at The Hague for his alleged role in atrocities during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s.