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465 more Srebrenica victims reburied

July 12, 2007|From the Associated Press


Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Hundreds of newly identified victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre were reburied Wednesday, their relatives sobbing as the thin green coffins were laid in the ground on the 12th anniversary of the mass wartime killing.

More than 30,000 people attended the service, in which a child read aloud the names of the 465 victims identified after being found in the many mass graves around Srebrenica. Before the ceremony, sobbing women moved among the coffins, searching for their loved ones' names and hugging one another.

Up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were slain by Serbian forces who stormed the city on July 11, 1995, and killed them over several days. It was the worst mass slaughter in Europe since World War II.

Every year, more victims' remains are found in dozens of mass graves around Srebrenica. DNA tests and other forensic methods have led to the identification and reburial of more than 3,000 victims, including the 465 on Wednesday.

In the Srebrenica suburb of Potocari, the victims were laid to rest at a memorial center that consists of a huge cemetery, a small museum and a row of marble blocks on which the names of the victims -- those found and those not -- are engraved.

Nearby, a huge field awaits the estimated 5,000 victims yet to be excavated from mass graves that have still not been found.

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