Europe's most wanted alleged war criminal was arrested today after more than a decade on the run, Serbian President Boris Tadic announced.
Ratko Mladic, who served as the former Chief of Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army, was indicted by the International Criminal Court for allegedly directing a myriad of war crimes committed during the Bosnian War including the indiscriminant bombing of civilians and the sniping of women and children in Sarajevo in the early 1990s and the massacre of more than 7,000 men and boys in the small mountain town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. The massacre marked the worst atrocity to take place in Europe since the Second World War.
"This is the end of the search of Ratko Mladic," Tadic said in his announcement. "But this is not the end of the search for those who helped Mladic and others. The investigation will continue."
The 69-year-old was arrested in the early morning in Lazarevo, Serbia, a village 60 miles northeast of Belgrade, where he was living with relatives. One senior Serbian security official told ABC News Mladic had two guns on him, but gave himself up without resistance when police executed the early morning raid.
Mladic appeared considerably aged since he was last seen in public, was pale and a series of strokes had left one arm paralyzed, the official said.
The arrest comes after years of international pressure on Serbia to hand over Mladic, who was believed to have been moving relatively freely there. The issue had become a critical flashpoint in Serbia's bid to join the European Union.
"Today is also an important day for international justice," International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Serge Brammertz said in a statement today. "Ratko Mladic's arrest clearly signals that the commitment to international criminal justice is entrenched. Today's events show that people responsible for grave violations of international humanitarian law can no longer count on impunity."
Brammertz had complained earlier this month that Serbia was not doing enough to track down Mladic. In October 2010, the Serbian government announced it was offering a $14 million reward for Mladic's capture and a month later asked Interpol's help to determine if Mladic was "in Serbia or in some other countries."
The White House too was "delighted" to hear of Mladic's arrest, deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters.
Mladic is expected to be extradited to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.
ABC News' Stephanie Smith contributed to this report.