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Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Mladic was released briefly from his jail cell, traveling in a secret high-security armored convoy to a suburban cemetery where he visited the grave of his daughter.

At the black marble grave, Mr. Mladic left a burning candle and a small white bouquet of flowers with a red rose in the middle.

“We didn’t announce his visit to the grave because it is his private thing and because it represented a security risk,” Bruno Vekaric, deputy war crimes prosecutor, said. “The whole operation lasted for exactly 22 minutes and passed without a glitch. He was at the grave for a few minutes. I’ve been told that he reacted emotionally.”

Mr. Mladic repeatedly had demanded that he be allowed to visit the grave, a memorial he had avoided for years as he tried to remain underground.

“We had cameras there and 24-hour surveillance, so he could absolutely not show up there,” chief Serbian war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic told the Associated Press.

Mr. Mladic‘s 23-year-old daughter, Ana, a medical student, committed suicide in 1994 with her father’s pistol. She reportedly didn’t leave a suicide note, but media at the time said she ended her life at Mr. Mladic’s Belgrade family house because of depression caused by her father’s role in the war.

Mr. Mladic has rejected the official investigation into her case and has claimed she was killed by his wartime enemies, saying the pistol was found in her left hand, although she was right-handed.

Kadira Gabeljic, whose husband and two sons were killed in the Srebrenica slaughter, reacted with disbelief and anger at Mr. Mladic’s visit to his daughter’s grave, saying she almost fainted at the news.

So far, she said, forensic experts have managed to exhume only part of the remains of her sons, Mesud and Meho, who were 16 and 21 when killed.

“He was allowed to do it, and I am still searching for my children for the past 16 years, ever since Srebrenica happened,” she said.

“My husband had been found, but what about my children?” she said. “I will wait for years. I might even die before their complete remains are found.”

Serb nationalists in Serbia and parts of Bosnia still consider Mr. Mladic a hero — the general who against all odds tried to defend ethnic Serbs in the Bosnian conflict. In the Bosnian city of Banja Luka, thousands of supporters protested his arrest Tuesday in the biggest demonstration so far in the country.

Demonstrators chanted Mr. Mladic’s name and carried his picture alongside those of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev, whom they consider their biggest allies.

Dusan Stojanovic reported from Belgrade, Serbia. Sabina Niksic in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, contributed to this report.