Investigators uncover more mass graves in Bosnia

A mass grave believed to contain dozens of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre has been discovered in eastern Bosnia, officials said.

The grave measuring at least 10 by three metres was discovered at Kamenica village, near the town of Zvornik, said Murat Hurtic of Bosnia’s Missing Persons Commission.

“The remains of around 10 people appeared on the surface as we removed the first layer of soil [and] at least several dozen remains” were expected to be uncovered, he said.

The exhumation work was expected to continue for two weeks.

Serb forces overran the then UN-protected Muslim enclave Srebrenica in the final phase of Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, summarily killing some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Europe’s single worst atrocity since World War II.

The victims were initially buried in a dozen mass graves. But after the release of satellite pictures showing freshly disturbed ground, Serbs moved them to other locations to cover up the crimes.

The body parts were separated during reburial using bulldozers, and forensic experts sometimes found parts of a single person buried in three different so-called secondary graves.

“It is the tenth so-called secondary grave found in Kamenica,” said Amor Masovic, the head of the commission.

Soil probes showed there were at least three other graves in the village, he said, adding that they would probably be exhumed later this year.

The remains of thousands of victims have been exhumed from about 70 mass graves around the town, with more than 5,600 people identified by DNA analysis.

Wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, indicted by a UN war crimes court for genocide and crimes against humanity for atrocities including the Srebrenica massacre, was arrested in the Serbian capital Belgrade last month after being on the run for more than decade.

His army commander and co-accused, general Ratko Mladic, remains at large.

The Srebrenica massacre remains the only episode in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s to have been ruled genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). That view was upheld by the UN’s highest tribunal, the International Court of Justice, in February 2007.

The war claimed up to 200,000 lives.


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