Bosnian war victims laid to rest

July 30, 2007 - 0:0

Thousands of people in Bosnia have attended a funeral ceremony for 147 Muslims who were killed by Serbian forces during the Bosnian war.

Their remains had been recovered from mass graves close to the northern city of Prijedor and were later identified by forensic experts. Some of those killed had been tortured or starved to death in detention camps. Television pictures of emaciated inmates at one of them, the Omarska camp, shocked the world in 1992. ""It's horrible to have a funeral for so many people, killed only because they were Muslims. What happened here will never be forgotten,"" said Harisa Trto, 50, quoted by AFP news agency. His brothers, Nizret and Emir, were among those being mourned at the ceremony in Prijedor. After the ceremony, the victims' bodies were taken for reburial in local cemeteries by their families. According to Murat Hurtic, who led the forensic team of the Bosnian Commission on Missing Persons, the victims were Muslims killed after Bosnian Serb troops overran the eastern town of Srebrenica in 1995. The systematic execution of some 8,000 men was the worst massacre in Europe after World War II, AP reported. Most of the mass graves found in the area of Srebrenica are so called secondary mass graves, to which the perpetrators moved the bodies from the original mass grave in order to cover up the crime. This was usually done by bulldozers which damaged the bodies so that experts now sometimes find parts of one body in several different secondary mass graves. So far, nearly 3,000 Srebrenica victims have been found, identified and buried in the Potocari Memorial Center. Another 5,000 bags with remains of victims found in nearly 60 mass graves in eastern Bosnia are still waiting to be identified before returned to their families. (Source: BBC