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Zivota Panic, 70; led Yugoslav army

BELGRADE -- General Zivota Panic, who headed the former Yugoslav army in the early years of the Balkan wars, died Wednesday. He was 70.

General Panic was army chief of staff in 1992, when the former Yugoslavia broke up in a series of bloody wars. The Yugoslav army sided with Serb rebels in Croatia and Bosnia who took up arms to fight the republic's independence. At the time, General Panic was loyal to then-Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who is widely blamed for fomenting the wars. Milosevic is on trial at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

General Panic was removed from the post over alleged corruption, and he retired in 1993.

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