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U.N. Ambassador Shocked by Mass Grave Site
Exposed Body Parts Begin to Tell Story
of Muslim Flight from Sbrebrenica

Madeleine Albright
By Kurt Shork, Reuterss
(SARAJEVO, March 22) The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, visited a suspected mass grave site in eastern Bosnia on Friday and urged cooperation with the international war crimes tribunal.

"Oh God... This is truly shocking," Albright said as she looked at a decomposed body at the edge of a field on a collective farm in eastern Bosnia. A skeletal hand, parts of a spinal column and cranium and a leg bone were clearly visible amid strips of flesh, tattered clothing and a shoe. The remains have yet to be formally exhumed by the U.N. war crimes tribunal.

Tribunal experts and U.S. sources said preliminary investigations and aerial photographs of the site led them to believe that the victims buried there were from the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. Srebrenica, was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces in July, 1995, when it was a designated U.N. "safe area." The people in the town were captured or forced to flee. Several thousand former inhabitants of the area are missing and presumed dead, most as a result of mass executions. Bosnian Serb republic President Radovan Karadzic and his army commander General Ratko Mladic have both been indicted for war crimes connected to the fall of Srebrenica. Neither man has been handed over to the war crimes tribunal.

Albright touched down in a Blackhawk helicopter on the Branjevo collective farm, south of Janja, accompanied by the NATO commander in Bosnia, Admiral Leighton Smith, and a handful of U.S. troops. Security along the site's perimeter was provided by troops NATO identified as being from the Serbian Ministry of Interior. Albright toured the suspected mass grave with a war crimes tribunal forensic expert who refused to give his name. Stopping by some bones visible between furrows in the field the expert pointed to the remains. "We have an exposed femur here and back here we still have some exposed, intact tissue," the forensic specialist told Albright. "I looked at it the other day and it appears to be vertebrae. Basically you're looking at back tissue."

U.S. sources gave reporters aerial photographs of the site taken on July 5 and 17. The July 17 photograph shows what one American official identified as bodies scattered in two areas along the edge of the field. Tire tracks from heavy vehicles which may have transported victims from nearby farm buildings to their executions were clearly visible in the photographs. The U.S. government reviewed photographs of the site based on information provided by two Serbs to ABC television. American officials said the aerial surveillance records corroborated the Serbs' accounts of executions. Both men have been detained by Serbian authorities."

Additional resources
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia from the United Nations
Coalition for International Justice
Reports Concerning Human Rights Abuses in Bosnia published by Intac Access
Major War Criminals/Suspects from CalTech's Bosnia Site
Reports on War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia from CalTech's Bosnia Site
Six Possible Grave Sites Identified By US Intelligence Agencies from The Christian Science Monitor
Exposing Europe's Worst Massacre Since the Holocaust from The Christian Science Monitor

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