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162 Bodies Counted as Bosnians Open Mass Graves

July 20, 2001|From Reuters

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnia's forensic teams have found a total of 162 bodies believed to be Bosnian Muslims killed by Serb forces during the 1992-95 war, a Bosnian Muslim official said Thursday.

Amor Masovic, the head of the Muslim-led Commission for Missing Persons, said exhumations have been carried out at sites across the Balkan country, where about 20,000 people--17,000 of them Muslims--are still unaccounted for.

Exhumations that began on Monday at three sites in eastern and western Bosnia were finished Wednesday, but others are continuing and many more bodies are expected to be found, he said.

Masovic said 64 bodies believed to be those of Muslims killed in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre have been exhumed since July 9 from a site in a wooded ravine at Glogova, near the eastern town of Bratunac. In addition, 20 other bodies have been located and prepared for exhumation, and many more are expected to be found, he said.

It is believed that the remains of victims of the Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men, regarded as Europe's worst atrocity since World War II, were transferred from the original burial site to the Glogova grave after the war.

Masovic said that 25 other bodies were found near the western town of Sanski Most.

The remains of 20 more Muslims were found in another mass grave nearby. The victims are believed to have suffocated in overloaded trucks taking them to the Serb-run Manjaca concentration camp in the southeast.

"The evidence we have indicates this is what happened. But after the autopsy we shall know for sure," Masovic said by telephone.

Exhumations were completed near Visegrad, in Bosnia's Serb region, where the remains of 33 Muslims were found beneath the rubble of their wrecked homes. Among them were many women and children, Masovic said.

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