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Update #2: Excavations continue at Prijedor, remains of 240 people have been exhumed so far.

Photo of workers exhuming bodies from the Tomasica mass grave earlier this month

Photo of workers exhuming bodies from the Tomasica mass grave earlier this month

Forensics experts have been excavating a mass grave in Tomasica, a village in the Prijedor area of northwest Bosnia, since August, so far the remains of 240 people have been exhumed.  The existence of this mass grave was known by Bosnia’s Institute for Missing Persons, but the exact location and victim details were known only to local Serb witnesses who had remained silent since the end of the 1992-95 war.

The Toronto Sun reports that on Tuesday, the remains of 18 people were exhumed from the grave. Forensics workers said the victims included men, women and children, who were shot dead.  The team expects to find the remains of 17 children, the youngest an 18-month-old baby, from the Bacic family killed along with their mother, grandfather and uncle.

Authorities believe that these human remains in this grave belong to Bosniak Muslims and Croats killed by Serb forces in during the civil war, in the summer of 1992.   These people were killed in a savage military campaign to eliminate all non-Serbs from the parts of the country they controlled.  Paramilitary units and the Bosnian Serb army drove out the non-Serb population, and put thousands of people into prison camps where many were tortured and executed.  Witness accounts say that about 1,000 people were buried in Tomasica originally, but there are indications that some bodies were dug up and reburied elsewhere to cover up traces of the crime.  The Tomasica tomb may prove the largest mass grave of ethnic cleansing victims in Bosnia, which spreads across 3,000 square meters.  The largest in Bosnia is Crni Vrh in eastern Bosnia, which contained 629 bodies.

Read more at The Toronto Sun

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