BOSNIAN police have detained 13 former Bosnian Serb soldiers and policemen suspected of taking part in the murder and persecution of hundreds of Bosnian Croats and Muslim Bosniaks early in the country's 1992-95 war.

The case was handed over to Bosnian prosecutors from the Hague-based UN war crimes tribunal which has been relegating cases to the judiciary in former Yugoslav countries before it ends its 20 years of work this year.

Those detained include several top wartime police officers and members of a notorious military group known as "Mice", suspected of committing war crimes in the northern towns of Teslic and Doboj.

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They are charged with the murder of at least 40 Croats and Bosniaks, "persecution, enforced displacement and illegal detention of several hundred people, as well as the robbery and destruction of property", a statement from prosectors said.

The trials of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander General Ratko Mladic are still ongoing at the Hague.