Croatia opens probe into 1995 killing of 5 Serbs

Croatia opens probe into 1995 killing of 5 Serbs Zagreb (Croatia): Croatia on Thursday said it is investigating the execution-style killing of five Serb civilians in their village in 1995 as Croat forces drove Serbs out of the country.

Three men and two women were killed in their homes in Grubori, southwest of Zagreb, in August 1995 during Croatia's "Storm" offensive against Serb forces in the country's breakaway Krajina region.

The investigation forms part of an indictment against three Croatian generals who are being tried at a United Nations war crimes court in The Hague, Netherlands.

Police officer Krunoslav Borovec said 17 people have been questioned - some as suspects, others as witnesses - including five active Croatian police members.

Croatian authorities long had downplayed the Grubori killings as isolated acts of vengeance that could not be prevented as its troops fought for independence from Serb-led Yugoslavia.

Among the five dead, Croatian prosecutors say, were 45-year-old Djuro Karanovic, who was beaten up and shot to death, and 90-year-old Marija Grubor, who was burned to death. Grubori, a village of about 20 houses, also was burned down.

Croatia has belatedly begun to pursue its alleged war criminals from the 1990s disintegration of Yugoslavia as part of its effort to win admission to the 27-nation European Union.