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Srebrenica mothers, widows sue Dutch government for failure to protect their men in massacre

Mothers and widows of men murdered in Europe's worst massacre since World War II are suing the Dutch government for failing to protect their husbands and sons during the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.

The civil case starting Monday in a Hague courtroom focusses on the failure of Dutch troops serving as United Nations peacekeepers to protect Muslim men in the protected enclave in eastern Bosnia from rebel Serbs who overran the town and killed some 8,000 men and boys.

Lawyers for a group called the Mothers of Srebrenica are demanding compensation for the women in a case that could set legal precedents for other peacekeeping missions.

Dutch judges threw out attempts by the women to also sue the United Nations, saying the world body has legal immunity.