Tags: EU | Bosnia | Srebrenica Anniversary

Thousands Mark 21 Years since Srebrenica Massacre

Thousands Mark 21 Years since Srebrenica Massacre

Monday, 11 July 2016 09:35 AM

SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Thousands have gathered in Srebrenica on Monday to mark the 21st anniversary of Europe's worst mass murder since the Holocaust and to attend the funeral of 127 newly-found victims.

Family members sobbed as they hugged the coffins for the last time before they were buried at a cemetery next to 6,337 other victims found previously in mass graves. The youngest victim buried this year was 14, the oldest 77.

Fatima Duric, 52, buried her husband whom she saw last when Serbs overran the eastern Bosnian enclave at the end of Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

The United Nations had declared Srebrenica a safe haven for civilians, but that didn't prevent Serb soldiers from attacking the town they besieged for years. As they advanced on July 11, 1995, most of the town's Muslim population rushed to the nearby U.N. compound in hopes the Dutch peacekeepers would protect them.

But the outnumbered and outgunned peacekeepers watched helplessly as Muslim men and boys were separated for execution and the women and girls sent to Bosnian government-held territory. Nearly 15.000 residents tried to flee through the woods, but were hunted down and also killed.

International courts defined the massacre of more than 8,000 people as an act of genocide.

The victims were buried in mass graves, which were then shortly after the war dug up by the perpetrators and relocated in order to hide the crime. During the process, the half-decomposed remains were ripped apart by bulldozers so that body parts are still being found in more than 100 different mass graves and put together and identified through DNA analysis.

Then they are buried each year at the memorial center across the road from the former U.N. base where most of the victims were last seen alive.

Duric lost her husband as they fled with their two children through the woods and walked for days toward government-held territory.

"After all these years, his body was found. In fact, just a few bones. I am burying them today," Duric said.

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Thousands have gathered in Srebrenica on Monday to mark the 21st anniversary of Europe's worst mass murder since the Holocaust and to attend the funeral of 127 newly-found victims.Family members sobbed as they hugged the coffins for the last time before they were buried at...
EU,Bosnia,Srebrenica Anniversary
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2016-35-11
Monday, 11 July 2016 09:35 AM
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