Bosnia buries 66 Muslim war victims in Visegrad

AFP , Saturday 26 May 2012

Thousands of Bosnians attend funeral of 66 Muslims killed at beginning of 1992-1995 war with Serbia

Several thousand people gathered Saturday in Visegrad to attend a collective funeral of 66 Muslims killed in the eastern Bosnian town at the beginning of the 1992-1995 war.

Under light rain, several imams prayed for the dead before the bodies, found in a lake five years after the end of the war, were buried.

"In first months of the conflict, Serb forces killed my son, my husband, my two sisters, my brother and several other relatives, 13 in total," said Meva Ahmetagic. One of her sisters and brother-in-law were buried on Saturday.

The remains of 66 victims had been found in 2010 during a search of Lake Perucac, into which the Drina river -- marking the frontier between Serbia and Bosnia -- runs.

The search was conducted when water levels had dropped to an historic low due to repairs being carried out on a dam.

"The youngest buried victim is a boy who was three and a half-year old at the time. He was killed together with his mother, whose body unfortunately has not been found yet," said Hedija Kasapovic, president of an association of families of victims missing from Visegrad.

"My only wish remains to find my son Samir. He was 17 at the time. I cannot even think of dying before finding him," the 60-year-old woman said, bursting into tears.

Between April and June 1992 the Serb forces killed more than 1,500 civilians in Visegrad and surrounding areas, according to the Bosnian Institute for Missing Persons. Some 600 people are still unaccounted for.

The inter-ethnic war in Bosnia left some 100,000 dead and more than two million refugees and displaced people, almost a half of country's pre-war population.

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