Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Dozens of bodies found in Bosnian mass grave|
|09/02/00 at 23:44:59|
|CNN: September 2, 2000|
A forensic expert investigates remains found during excavations in the pit
SARAJEVO, Bosnia -- More than 70 bodies have been exhumed from a mass grave in Bosnian Serb-controlled territory, including those of children and handicapped people. The Muslim Commission for Missing Persons first announced that dozens of bodies had been recovered from the grave earlier this week. The bodies were found in a (20-metre) 60-foot-deep pit near the Serb-held village of Kalimanici, 20 miles (32 kilometres) east of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, the commission said. The bodies are believed to be of Bosnian Muslims from the eastern town of Visegrad, brought to the site and executed by Serb soldiers at the beginning of the 1992-1995 war.
In a report on Saturday, the daily newspaper Dnevni Avaz said the victims were most likely members of seven Muslim families. A forensic team has discovered bullet shells on the ground surrounding the pit, indicating executions were carried out at the site. It is believed Serb forces took a group of Muslims from Visegrad in the summer of 1992 in a bus, executed them and threw the bodies in the pit. The corpses were later covered with soil, rubbish and animal bones. Last month U.S. Ambassador Thomas Miller said the site proved that a holocaust had happened in Bosnia and that it must not be forgotten.
Thousands still missing
The missing persons commission has so far completed exhumations in about 10 pits more than 20 metres deep. The remains of some 10,000 people have been exhumed, 6,000 of which have been identified. Some 200,000 people were killed during the Bosnian war and more than 20,000 people are still missing. Meanwhile, in Makova, in the former Yugoslavia, several hundred ethnic Albanians gathered Saturday to bury for the third time the bodies of 63 relatives slaughtered by Serbs during the Kosovo conflict. The victims were part of a refugee convoy passing through a Kosovo valley leading down from villages near the Serbian frontier towards Pristina in April last year when they were murdered and dumped in a series of mass graves. Their relatives later retrieved the bodies and buried them in a nearby graveyard, but they were dug up again this year by forensic specialists working for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). "It was difficult for the families to have them dug up again," ICTY investigator Stephen Leach said. "But they understood the need for an investigation into what happened." The families gathered to say their final farewells to the dead at a joint ceremony in a small community graveyard on the steep side of the valley just outside Makovac, six miles (10 kilometres) north east of Pristina.
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