Several thousand people attended a funeral service in Bosnia on Saturday, July 20th, for 86 Muslims who were slain by Serbs in one of the worst atrocities of the country’s 1992-1995 war, AFP reported.
According to News10.com, relatives of the victims, religious leaders, and others gathered at a soccer stadium near the eastern town of Prijedor, standing solemnly behind lines of coffins draped with green cloths as a gesture of both dignity and respect to the victims.
The remains were found in 2017 at the bottom of a cliff in a natural pit. They were entombed by large stones and later identified as the remains of mostly men and teenagers, laying in a mass grave at Koricanske Stijene, a mountain region of central Bosnia, AFP reported.
The victims were part of a group of more than 200 civilians, notably Bosnian Muslims, but also several Catholic Croats, previously held in a detention camp at Trnopolje, in the region of Prijedor.
The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia sentenced several ex-Bosnian Serb police officers in 2007 for separating and killing civilians from a convoy of people being deported from Prijedor.
According to UNnews.org, the men were charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes for their alleged participation in a joint criminal enterprise aiming to murder and mistreat prisoners, as well as their personal and command responsibility for the torture and executions.
To date, 181 victims of the massacre at Koricanske Stijene have been identified, including 176 Bosnian Muslims and five Croats, according to Mujo Begic, an official from the Bosnian Institute for Missing Persons.
After taking control in the northwestern region of Prijedor in April 1992, Serb forces killed some 3,200 people, including 250 women and a hundred children, according to victims’ associations. However, some 650 people are still unaccounted for, AFP reported.