Mušan Topalović

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Mušan Topalović
Nickname(s) Caco
Born (1957-10-04)4 October 1957
Sarajevo, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia
Died 26 October 1993(1993-10-26) (aged 36)
Sarajevo, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Allegiance Bosnia and Herzegovina Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Years of service 1991–93
Rank brigadier
Unit 10th Mountain Brigade
Commands held Commander of the 10th Mountain Brigade of the 1st Corps
Battles/wars Bosnian War
Siege of Sarajevo

Mušan "Caco" Topalović (4 October 1957 – 26 October 1993) was commander of the 10th Mountain Brigade in the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Caco was also a smuggler, thief and gangster inside the besieged capital Sarajevo. Topalović was also formerly a rock musician.

Caco only became a brigade commander because of the confusion of the Yugoslav secession crisis in the spring of 1992. He managed to form his own brigade while the Bosnian government pursued a peaceful resolution. His brigade was infamous for rounding up citizens and forcing them to dig defensive positions in his areas of responsibility.

Death[edit]

Caco's excesses, brutal crimes against civilians and refusal to have the 10th Mountain Brigade fall under the Bosnian Army (ARBIH) chain of command led the Bosnian government to attempt to arrest him on 26 October 1993. During the operation, Caco and a few of his associates killed nine police officers and took several dozen civilians as hostages. A total of seventeen people were killed, in the most brutal ways, on that day by Caco and his men. In the attempt to arrest him: police officers Admir Hebib (1969–93), Kemal Kojić (1960–93), Dragan Miljanović (1967–93), Slaven Markešić (1965–93), Srđan Bosiljčić (1963–93), Elvir Šovšić (1974–93), Hamid Humić (1959–93), Jasmin Čamidžija (1968–93), Izet Karšić (1959–93) and eight civilian hostages were killed. Caco later surrendered after receiving guarantees from the Presidency that he wouldn't be killed. He ended up dead.

In the official version of the event issued by the Government, Caco was killed while attempting escape, but was supposedly beaten by Admir Hebib's father, Avdo Hebib, a high ranking commander in the ARBIH and shot to death by the comrades of the dead police officers. Caco's brother Emir, brother-in-law Behudin and another soldier were arrested and beaten, but were released at the time. Several members of his brigade were later charged with war crimes in Sarajevo courts.

Funeral[edit]

Caco was buried in a grave marked N.N. close to the Sarajevo Olympic Stadium. In 1996 under pressure from various groups the Bosnian government revealed the location of his grave, and his remains were exhumed. On 2 December 1996 he was given a war hero's burial which was broadcast on television and attended by approximately 12,000 people in Sarajevo, mostly members of the Green Berets and other quasi-formal military formations. He was buried in the cemetery for soldiers killed during the war. This was condemned by many veterans and families of fallen ones, as he never fought on a front line nor did any of the men under his direct command.

See also[edit]

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