Ex-Yugoslav leader Trifunovic, symbol of senseless war, dies

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Serbia state television says former Yugoslav army general Vlado Trifunovic, whose treason conviction by Serbia's wartime nationalist leadership became a symbol of the senselessness of the 1990s' Balkan conflict, has died. He was 78.

The state TV reported Tuesday that Trifunovic died on Sunday in Belgrade.

Trifunovic was in charge of a Yugoslav army unit in independence-seeking Croatia as war broke out in 1991. He disobeyed orders to fight and instead negotiated a safe passage for his young troops.

He was convicted of treason by the nationalist government of Yugoslavia's then-President Slobodan Milosevic. Anti-war Serbs hailed him as a hero for saving the soldiers' lives.

Croatia and Slovenia also accused Trifunovic of war crimes. Serbia's TV says Trifunovic will be buried in his native Bosnia.