PREPARATIONS FOR SREBRENICA MASSACRE ANNIVERSARY UNDERWAY, NEW MASS GRAVE FOUND
A Bosnian Muslim woman prays above a marble stone engraved with 8,370 names of Srebrenica massacre victims at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica, July 6, 2006. About 500 identified victims of the Srebrenica massacre will be buried on its 11th anniversary on July 11, 2006.
MORE VICTIMS FOUND AS 11th ANNIVERSARY OF SREBRENICA MASSACRE LOOMS
By Miran Jelenek
KAMENICA, Bosnia (Reuters) - Forensic experts said on Thursday they had unearthed the remains of 268 victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre - the first legally established case of genocide in Europe after the Holocaust - days before its 11th anniversary.
Over 8,000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) were slaughtered in the Srebrenica massacre.
About 500 newly-identified victims of the Srebrenica masssacre, widely seen as Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two, will be buried on July 11 at a cemetery near the eastern town, where 2,000 victims have already been buried.
New victims are being unearthed at the Jaz mass grave, to where bodies were transferred from the site of the massacre to try to hide traces of the crime, the experts say. The youngest victim was a 10-year old girl.
Jaz is the eighth and possibly biggest mass grave found in the village of Kamenica, near the eastern town of Zvornik. The digging, which began in the second week of June, will continue and more bodies are expected to be found.
A multi-national forensic team, unearthing an 18-meter by 4-meter (60 ft by 13 ft) grave, worked in tropical heat under a huge air-conditioned tent surrounded by piles of human skulls and bones.
"The bodies are mostly articulated, skeletonised, with a good degree of preservation," Canadian forensic anthropologist Renee Kosalka told Reuters. She said the victims' ages ranged from 16 to 60 and they were mostly male.
After the former U.N. "safe zone" of Srebrenica fell to the Bosnian Serbs in July 1995, their troops killed and buried over eight thousand civilians fleeing the enclave.
Documents and some objects found on the bodies proved the victims were Bosniaks from Srebrenica, the experts said, adding they had also found empty bullet shells and ropes in the grave.
Murat Hurtic of the regional commission for missing persons said about half of Srebrenica victims had been found in 80 mass graves in eastern Bosnia, but only a third had been identified so far.
The remains are identified through DNA analysis, matching bones of victims with blood samples from their relatives.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) said this week they had identified 10,000 victims from the wars in the former Yugoslavia in 1990s. Almost all of the identified victims on a territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina were Bosniaks.