Suspected Mass Graves to be Investigates
After Floods Enearth Bodies at Jajce
(Jajce, Bosnia & Herzegovina, February 3, 1996)
The grisly task of opening suspected mass graves will begin in Bosnia on Friday, but the new urgency in probing the harvest of Bosnia's bloody war is coming from nature, not political expediency. Winter flooding around the northern Bosnia town of Jacye has unearthed 46 corpses. "The victims apparently ranged from age 11 to 70 and were predominantly Croats, although they included some Muslims," Ljerko Radic, an investigator, told reporters today. "They are all believed to be victims of the (Bosnian) Serb purge." It was unclear when the killings took place, but Serbs seized the region in October 1992. Bosnian Croats retook it in September.
Manfred Novak, a U.N. investigator looking for missing and displaced persons, will travel to Jajce tomorrow to supervise digging at three sites, according to Amila Dedic, spokeswoman for the U.N. Human Rights Center in Sarajevo. Thirty thousand Bosnians, most of them Muslims, remain missing after Bosnia's 3½ years of war, but the exhumations will not be limited to the Jajce ares. Novak was in Srebrenica today where an estimated 7,000 Muslims are believed buried after Bosnian Serbs overran the U.N. "safe area" last Summer. There are believed to be 200-300 mass graves throughout Bosnia.
Bosnian Serb leader Momcilo Krajisnik promised that investigators will get full access to the sites to "get rid of the smear campaign. We want representatives of the international community to convince themselves of the truth," Krajisnik was quoted as saying Wednesday after a meeting with Novak.
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