Remains of Bosnia's war victims exhumed

2013-10-05 22:10

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Sarajevo - The remains of about 100 people, believed to be Bosnian Muslims and Croats who were killed during the 1990s war, have been exhumed from a mass grave in northwestern Bosnia, officials said on Saturday.

"We have exhumed 47 complete skeletons, as well as the remains of some 50 other victims," Lejla Cengic, spokesperson of the Bosnian Institute for Missing Persons, told AFP.

The mass grave was found in April in a disused mine in the town of Tomasica, in the northwestern Bosnian region of Prijedor.

It is one of the biggest mass graves found in the region in the past 10 years, Cengic said.

"The victims were found in very deep ground, at around 10m, which is very unusual," Cengic said.

Experts believe the victims were Bosnian Croat and Muslim civilians killed in the early days of the war in Prijedor and the surrounding area.

DNA tests will be carried out to identify the remains.

Some 3 330 people were reported missing from the Prijedor region after Bosnia's inter-ethnic war ended in 1995.

Some 1 200 are still unaccounted for, Cengic said.

So far 96 mass graves containing the remains of local Muslims and Croats have been found in the Prijedor area, and the remains of some 2 100 victims have been identified mostly through DNA analysis, officials said.

In the biggest mass grave found so far in the area, near the village Stari Kevljani, the remains of some 473 victims were exhumed in 2003.

Forensic work at the Tomasica site may take another month, officials said.

After Bosnian Serbs took control of the region in April 1992, the homes of non-Serbs were destroyed, families were separated and thousands of people were incarcerated in detention camps, where many were tortured and executed.

Pictures of the emaciated inmates at one of the detention camps, Omarska, shocked the world in mid-1992.

Read more on:    bosnia  |  war crimes

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