NATO welcomes Mladic arrest

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BRUSSELS (AP) -- NATO is hailing Serbia's arrest of indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic, saying he played a key role in some of the darkest and bloodiest chapters of European history.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday that almost 16 years since Mladic's indictment for genocide "his arrest finally offers a chance for justice to be done."

Tens of thousands of NATO troops were deployed to Bosnia in 1995 to safeguard a U.S.-sponsored peace agreement between that nations' warring factions. They have since been withdrawn abd replaced by a much smaller European Union force.

In 1999, NATO warplanes bombed Serbia for two-and-half months to end a crackdown by Slobodan Milosevic's troops against the Albanian minority in Kosovo province.