Excavations at Bosnia’s largest mass grave will be suspended through winter

Forensic workers will suspend exhumations during the winter months at a mass grave in near Tomasica in Bosnia, and will resume in the spring.  Investigators believe it is the largest mass grave found so far from the 1992-95 war, with the remains of 430 people having been exhumed since work began in August.  The number is expected to increase and surpass the grave at Crni Vrh, the largest mass grave in Bosnia were 629 bodies were buried.   Authorities hope some of the 1,200 still missing from the area will be found in the Tomasica grave.

In an effort to cover up their war crimes, The Missing Persons’ Institute believe the perpetrators of these murders moved bodies from the Tomasica grave to another mass grave about 6 miles away where 373 bodies were found in 2003, a claim that has been supported by witness statements.  In some cases, remains from the same person have been found in both graves.

Authorities believe that the remains in this grave belong to Bosniak Muslims and Catholic Croats killed by Christian Orthodox Serb forces 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.   Many of the victims were killed in one of the three concentration camps Serb authorities built near Prijedor.

The Hague-based U.N. war crimes tribunal has sentenced 16 Bosnian Serbs to a total of 230 years in prison for atrocities in the Prijedor area.

Read more at Trust.org via Thomson Reuters Foundation

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