Bosnia Floods: 1992-1995 Wartime Mass Graves Exposed

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 5, 2014 2:03 PM EST

The floods that deluged Bosnia in May, which claimed at least 44 lives, has unearthed wartime mass graves of Muslim Bosniak victims of the bloody 1992-1995 war in the country.

The bodies were found in graves 400 metres from a bridge where 16 Bosniaks from Jablanica were killed in 1992.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
An aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje May 18, 2014. Russian cargo planes and rescue teams from around Europe on Sunday joined huge volunteer aid efforts in swathes of Serbia and Bosnia where at least 24 people have died in the worst floods in over a century. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

"We unearthed four complete bodies whose hands were tied behind their backs and two incomplete bodies today," Lejla Cengic, spokeswoman of the government's Institute for Missing Persons, told Reuters.

She said exhumations will continue until they have managed to extract all 16 bodies. Electricity workers repairing power lines on the outskirts of the central town of Doboj completely submerged with the floods were the ones who discovered the secret mass graves.

"We assume the victims are Bosniaks from the nearby village Jablanica, the men aged from 19 to 57," Cengic said.

According to online portal OnIslam, the 1992 Bosnia civil war left 200,000 people dead with millions displaced after Serb forces launched an "ethnic cleansing campaign" against Bosnian Muslims.

Two million people fled their homes during the war that lasted 43 months. Around 500,000 were still listed as refugees.

"In the final months of the three-year war, Serb forces overran Srebrenica, killing some 8,000 Muslim men and boys,"

Cengic said there were about 35,000 people who went missing during the war in Bosnia. Some 8,000 still remain unaccounted while 1,000, although found, still have yet to be identified.

In May 2014, four days of heavy rainfall had triggered landslides in Serbia and Bosnia forcing thousands to flee their homes as mud covered villages and roads. The amount of rainfall that fell was good for three months' worth.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic / )
An aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje May 18, 2014. Russian cargo planes and rescue teams from around Europe on Sunday joined huge volunteer aid efforts in swathes of Serbia and Bosnia where at least 24 people have died in the worst floods in over a century. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
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