Forensic team exhumes bodies of Muslims in eastern Bosnia

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The Independent Online

Forensic experts have recovered more than 100 sacks of human remains from mass graves at several locations in the eastern part of Bosnia, an official from the Muslim Commission for Missing Persons confirmed on Sunday.

Murat Hurtic said the victims are believed to be Muslims from Srebrenica, the site of one of the most horrific atrocities during the war in Bosnia.

Forensic experts said it would not be possible to determine exactly how many bodies were in the graves, or to identify any of the victims until DNA analyses had been completed.

In the latter part of the war, Srebrenica was declared a safe haven by the United Nations and thousands of Muslims flocked to the town to escape Serb attacks. Then, in July 1995, Bosnian Serb soldiers rounded up and executed up to 8,000 men. Six years later, thousands are still unaccounted for.

Sarajevo authorities announced earlier this week that a commemoration service for the Srebrenica victims would be held on July 11 in the town. A marble stone with the inscription 'Srebrenica, July 1995' will be unveiled to mark the site where victims of the massacre will be reburied.

Officials have organized more than 100 buses to return some 5,000 Muslims to their prewar hometown for the ceremony. Srebrenica is now located in the Serb–held part of Bosnia.

Some 1,200 local police officers supported by international police units and NATO–led troops deployed in Bosnia will be on hand to provide security for the unveiling.

During Bosnia's 1992–95 war, some 200,000 people were killed and another 20,000 are still missing and are presumed dead.