KAMENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Forensics experts working at a mass grave have exhumed remains of 454 Bosnian Muslims killed by Serb forces in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, officials said Friday.
The site is the ninth mass grave discovered in the village of Kamenica in eastern Bosnia. Another 100 bodies are expected to be exhumed at the site, said Emir Ibrahimovic, a prosecutor from the city of Tuzla. The team has been working at the mass grave for three weeks.
Most of the remains recovered — those of 394 victims — were incomplete.
The remains were heavily damaged, a typical feature of "secondary" mass graves to which victims' bodies are moved from an original burial site in an attempt to hide a crime.
Much of the moving in this case was done with bulldozers, which complicates the identification process because parts of the same body are sometimes found in two or even three different mass graves.
Along with the remains, Ibrahimovic said his team found documents indicating the victims were killed in the Srebrenica massacre, which were Europe's worst mass killings since World War II. Serb troops in 1995 overran the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica, which the United Nations had declared a safe zone, and killed as many as 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
Forensics teams have been uncovering mass graves throughout Bosnia in recent years, collecting the remains and extracting DNA to be matched with family members. Once a match is found, the body is returned to the family for burial.
Of the 3,500 bodies of Srebrenica victims excavated so far, 2,500 have been identified through DNA and some 2,000 buried in a cemetery in the Srebrenica suburb of Potocari. That is where the victims were last seen alive before being rounded up by Serb soldiers and taken to be executed.
Another 5,000 bags with remains of victims found in nearly 60 mass graves in eastern Bosnia are still waiting to be identified before being returned to their families.