Srebrenica massacre: 409 reburied to mark anniversary

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A cemetery, near Srebrenica, Bosnia, where 8,000 unarmed Muslim men and boys were massacred by Serb forces, one of a host of atrocities committed by Serbs during the 3-and-a-half-year Bosnian War.

Credit:

Swanee Hunt

Tens of thousands of Bosnians gathered for the 18th anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre to rebury hundreds of the more than 8,000 Muslim victims.

A baby and 43 teenage boys were among the remains of 409 people laid to rest on Thursday at the Potocari Memorial Center.

More than 15,000 people traveled to the town of Potocari to attend the funeral for victims whose remains were found in mass graves over the last year, almost two decades after their deaths.

The ethnic cleansing at Srebrenica is considered the worst massacres in Europe since World War II.

Bosnian Serb forces entered Srebrenica in July 1995 and overran Dutch United Nations troops guarding the area, killing more than 8,000 men and boys over the course of five days. Their bodies were then dumped in a series of unmarked mass graves outside town.

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On July 11, 1995 Serb troops broke into the United Nations' military base in Potocari where some 30,000 Bosnian Muslims had fled for safe keeping. Unopposed by the UN troops, they first separated men and women, then killed 8,372 men and boys, according to the Associated Press.

At last count, 6,066 of the victims' remains have been identified while another 2,306 still remain missing.

AFP contributed to this report