Tens of thousands of mourners have convened in Bosnia to rebury 409 victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre whose remains have been newly identified.
The ceremony was held on Thursday, on the 18th anniversary of the massacre.
There were 44 boys, aged between 14 and 18, and a baby girl among the victims identified. Reports say as many as 2,306 victims are still missing.
“I feel like I’m losing them again today,” said Ramiza Siljkovic, mother of two sons, whose bones were recovered from two mass graves.
About one hundred thousand people were killed by Serb troops during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.
In July 1995, Serb forces attacked Srebrenica, a town located near the border with Serbia, and a designated “safe area” protected by UN peacekeeping troops. The forces killed more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
“Innocent and helpless victims were faced with the cold and merciless hatred of criminals akin to those in the Nazi camps of Hitler’s Germany,” said Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency.
Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic were reportedly behind the massacre.
They are on trial before the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. They are charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In June, 2012, judges refused to dismiss Karadzic’s charge of genocide about his involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
The 67-year-old was arrested on a bus in Belgrade in 2008, more than a decade after he was first indicted for ordering atrocities during the Bosnian war in the 1990s.
He is also accused of involvement in the forcible removal and murder of thousands of Croatian civilians during Dalj massacre, Erdut massacre, and Lovas massacre between 1991 and 1993.