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Bosnians mourn and bury on massacre anniversary

Latest update : 2008-07-11

Tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims are expected Friday for the commemoration of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 were believed to have been killed. Three hundred newly identified victims will be buried.

Tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims are expected on Friday at a commemoration of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre when the remains of more than 300 newly identified victims will be buried.
  
The funeral of 307 Muslims killed in Europe's worst atrocity since World War II is to be held amid fears of possible anti-Muslim violence after a recent UN court ruling.
  
The victims, aged between 15 and 84, are to be buried at a memorial just outside the eastern town. Their remains were exhumed from mass graves after the end of Bosnia's 1992-1995 war and identified by DNA analysis.
  
Last week, a UN appeals court cleared the former commander of Muslim military forces in Srebrenica, Naser Oric, of war crimes against Serbs. The ruling sparked anger among Serbs.
  
At Friday's ceremony, massacre survivors and victims' relatives are to be joined by Croat and Muslim members of Bosnia's tripartite presidency -- Zeljko Komsic and Haris Silajdzic.
  
Joining them are foreign diplomats led by the top international envoy to Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak. The commemoration will not be attended by any senior Bosnian Serb officials.
  
So far some 2,900 Srebrenica victims have been buried at the memorial built in 2003.
  
Thousands of others are yet to be exhumed and identified in the area, where more than 60 mass graves have been uncovered.
  
Near the end of Bosnia's war, Serb forces overran the then UN-protected enclave summarily killing some 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
  
The International Court of Justice and the UN war crimes tribunal, both based in The Hague, have ruled that the Srebrenica massacre was a form of genocide.
  
Thirteen years after the atrocity, its alleged masterminds -- Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his army chief Ratko Mladic -- are still at large.
  
After the war, Srebrenica remained in the Serbs' Republika Srpska which along with the Muslim-Croat Federation makes up post-war Bosnia.

Date created : 2008-07-11

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