GENEVA – The International Red Cross (search) said Thursday that it was still looking for 16,600 people missing from the war in Bosnia (search), almost a decade after the conflict in the Balkan nation.
"The sheer numbers express better than anything else the anxiety of so many who have lived so long in uncertainty," said Werner Kaspar, head of Bosnia operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Since the end of the 1992-95 war, painstaking work by the Red Cross and other organizations has resolved 5,000 cases of missing people. Most have been confirmed dead, often through forensic analysis of bodies, ICRC officials said.
Bosnia is littered with mass graves from the conflict, which was marked by the slaughter of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in July 1995 when Bosnian Serbs overran the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica.
The Swiss-based ICRC has published six editions of its "Book of the Missing" from the Bosnian conflict, listing names and places of disappearance of people whose fate thousands of families are trying to discover.
The Bosnian war, part of the fighting during the break up of Yugoslavia that began in 1991, killed some 260,000 people and left 1.8 million homeless.