17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Bosnians bury 520 Srebrenica genocide victims

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11 July 2012, Wednesday /AP
They came again, on the 17th anniversary of Europe's worst massacre since World War II, to bury their dead in the town whose name is now synonymous with genocide.

Some 30,000 Muslims traveled to a memorial center in Srebrenica, Bosnia, on Wednesday to bury 520 newly identified victims - the remains of thousands of 8,000 Muslim men and boys slaughtered in July 1995 by Serb forces.

The annual ritual was as heartbreaking as ever.

Izabela Hasanovic, 27, spent the last minutes crying over one of the coffins before it was lowered into the ground.

"My father, my father is here," she sobbed. "I cannot believe that my father is in this coffin. I cannot accept it!"

Another woman dropped on her knees next to a coffin, pressing her lips against the green cloth covering the wood.

"It's your sister kissing you. It's me," she whispered to the coffin, caressing it with both hands until others lowered it.

Then the valley echoed with the sound of dirt pounding on over 500 coffins from thousands of shovels as a voice read out the names of the victims and their ages from loudspeakers.

Among them were 48 teenagers as well as 94-year-old Saha Izmirlic, who was buried next to her son who also died in the massacre. On the other side of her grave, an empty space is waiting for her grandson who has not yet been found.

Srebrenica was a U.N.-protected Muslim town in Bosnia besieged by Serb forces throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war. Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic overran the enclave in July 1995, separated men from women and executed 8,372 men and boys within just a few days. Dutch troops stationed in Srebrenica as U.N. peacekeepers were undermanned and outgunned and failed to stop the slaughter.

The bodies of the victims are still being found in mass graves throughout eastern Bosnia. The task has been made even more difficult by the fact that the perpetrators dug up mass graves and reburied remains in other mass graves to try to cover their tracks. The victims have been identified through DNA analysis and newly identified ones are buried at the Srebrenica memorial center every year.

So far 5,325 Srebrenica massacre victims found this way have been laid to rest.

Armenians, please do not mix our issues with those of the Bosniaks. There is absolutely no need for that. Like us, the Bosniaks are heavily wounded and were the targets of a war of extermination. Their pain is being exploited by Ankara to settle political scores -- and therein lies the real shame...
Jack Kalpakian
Everybody take note that the so called GeneralSherman is a defeated Circassian private, who is not an ethnic Turk, who does not live in Turkey, who lives in USA, who hates Americans, who hates Christians, and who claims to be a history teacher in USA: which means the livelihood of this ingrate i...
Everybody take note that "GeneralSherman" is not American, he's some invented identity by one of the sad, pathetic turks/azeri's who pollute these comments sections.
Everybody take note that "Orhan Cukukoglu" is not Turkish, he's some invented identity by one of the sad, pathetic greeks/armenians who pollute these comments sections.
No AliA can't be dialogue with you, when for you killing 520 people is Genocide and killing 1500000 people is unproven and not Genocide because you have not seen it and don't want to know anything about it .
The massacres commited by both side,Serbs and Bozniaks,but the proper name of the atrocities is massacre,not genocide.
Orhan Cucukoglu
Ali A--your comment just polluted the solemnity of the content of this column. Genocide is a sin against all humanity, whoever commits it--the only bigger sin is denial.
Greeks acknowledge the murders by ALL the groups in the Bosnian wars, it's unfortunate that Turkey refuses to recognize it's own genocides a century after they took place. A thousand times as many Armenians died in 1915 as Bosnians died in the 1990's, why are you still denying it?
[AliA] Since you asked me to comment, I will gladly do so: so nice of you to ask. {Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic overran the enclave in July 1995, separated men from women and executed 8,372 men and boys within just a few days.} Read that passage again: the savage murderers led by psychopath ...
Alia the Armenian Genocide is a PROVEN FACT by the international Genocide Scholars the wider world parliaments and nations. And if you brainwashed Kemalist-Ittihadists (fascists) in Turkey cannot see it that way, you look like ostriches with head deep in sand. 1.5 Million Armenians, 750,000 Assyrian...
Hope Armenians, Greeks, Serbs, etc. do not make an appearance on this site with silly comments about unproven genocides. True genocide was in Bosnia 1992-1995 as per previous genocides against Turks/Muslims in the Balkans, Crimea.....
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