Hundreds of bodies, believed to have been killed by Serb forces during the 1995-1992 war, have been found in a mass grave in Bosnia.
Forensic teams have exhumed the remains of 268 men, women and children buried at Tomasica in the Prijedor area.
Suad Zeric was held in Serb detention camps during the war and hopes his missing relatives will be found at the site.
“I’m searching for my four uncles,” Zeric said. “Mehid Mrkalj has been found and with God’s help I hope to find the other three, Kasim, Latif and Sakib. There are many more relatives, neighbours and friends who are still missing after all these years. Thank God that this mass grave has been found and that this hill has revealed the truth.”
The existence of the site was known for years, but its whereabouts kept a secret by Serbs. Finally some former Bosnian Serb fighters admitted the location.
Lejla Cengic from the Missing Persons Institute says they now know more about the identities of those killed.
“Bodies were found piled up ten metres under the ground’s surface. Some identification documents were found next to bodies so now we can say that victims were residents of villages of Biscana, Sjenica, Rizvanovica and Carapova. Victims were Bosniak and Croat civilians killed in 1992 in the Prijedor area,” said Cengic.
It’s believed to be the largest grave of mass ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslav republic. Around 1,000 bodies were buried there originally but there it’s believed they were later dug up and moved elsewhere.
An estimated 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces during the war, with many dying in detention camps.