Kosovo honors 1,650 people still missing from 1998-99 war

With flowers, tears and bowed heads, the citizens of Kosovo are holding their annual day to honor the missing.

There are still about 1,650 people unaccounted for since the 1998-99 war that left some 10,000 dead and ended after NATO intervened on behalf of the region's Albanian majority.

People gathered Friday at the Grieving Valley in the village of Meja, 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of the capital Pristina, where 19 years ago 376 Albanian civilians were killed by the Serb army and paramilitary troops.

A European Union mission said overall 506 bodies have been returned to their families. Its leader, Alexandra Papadopoulou, said "families need closure to their painful past and the tragic loss they have suffered."

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Serbia has not recognized.