TUZLA, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Forensic experts finished exhumation work on a mass grave in eastern Bosnia and found the remains of more than 600 Bosnian Muslims killed by Serb forces at Srebrenica, officials said Friday.
The site was the ninth mass grave discovered in the village of Kamenica.
Of the remains from 616 bodies found in the grave, only 76 bodies were found intact, said Fatima Hadzibeganovic, a prosecutor in the city of Tuzla, where the exhumation team is from.
The team had been working at the grave for a month before exhuming all the remains. It will takes years to identify them through DNA tests.
There was evidence that the remains had been moved from one burial site to another to try to hide the crime, officials said.
Experts call them "secondary mass graves" and they are particularly difficult to work on because heavy equipment including bulldozers were usually used to move bodies from one grave to another. Parts from a single body are sometimes found in different mass graves.
Hadzibeganovic said the team working on the latest grave in Kamenica also found bullets, bindings around the victims' arms and eyes, and documents indicating the victims were killed in the Srebrenica massacre, which was Europe's worst mass killing since World War II.
In 1995, Serb troops 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 relatives. Once a match is found, the body is returned to the family for burial.
Of the remains from 3,500 bodies of Srebrenica victims exhumed so far, 2,500 have been identified through DNA. Of those identified, 2,000 were buried in a cemetery in the Srebrenica suburb of Potocari and the remaining 500 were buried elsewhere.
Another 5,000 bags with remains of victims found in nearly 60 mass graves in eastern Bosnia were still waiting to be identified before being returned to their families.