U.N. officials will hand over to Serbian authorities Thursday the bodies of seven Serb civilians killed during the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo. The bodies, exhumed in Kosovo, will be turned over at a checkpoint 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the provincial capital, Pristina, officials said.
Some 2,490 persons are still listed as missing since the war that pitted Serb government forces against ethnic Albanian rebels. That conflict ended when NATO's aerial bombing campaign persuaded then-president Slobodan Milosevic to end the crackdown on separatists. Thousands perished during the brief war.
The fate of the missing remains one of the most sensitive and emotionally charged issues between the two former foes. Representatives of the two sides have several times attempted to establish the whereabouts of ethnic Albanians, Serbs and others who vanished during the fighting.
Kosovo, which technically remains a province within the loose union of Serbia and Montenegro, has been a de facto international protectorate administered by the United Nations since 1999, reports the AP. I.L.