A new mass grave believed to contain the bodies of dozens of Srebrenica massacre victims has been found in northeastern Bosnia, an official said Tuesday. The head of the forensic team, Murat Hurtic, said one of the 1995 massacre's survivors helped find the grave believed to contain "dozens of Srebrenica victims," in Snagovo village, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Srebrenica.
Bones from about 15 skeletons could be seen protruding from the earth when bulldozers removed a layer of soil from the top of the grave, Hurtic said. Exhumations will last about two weeks, he added.
This is the second mass grave found in the same village. About 100 bodies were found in the first grave in Snagovo, Hurtic said.
The bodies in both mass graves were originally buried elsewhere but later moved to the Snagovo location to cover up the crime, he said. Most so-called secondary mass graves contain only parts of bodies since those who tried to cover up the crime excavated them from other locations with bulldozers. When found, the remains are collected in bags and analyzed in laboratories.
Experts extract DNA from the bones and match it to the blood of relatives of the missing. So far thousands of victims from the 1992-95 Bosnian war have been identified using this method.
Most of the bodies found in mass graves in northeastern Bosnia are those of Bosnian Muslims killed in the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, the worst slaughter of civilians in Europe since World War II. Serb troops overran the eastern Bosnian enclave, which had been declared a safe zone by the United Nations, and killed as many as 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
Over the years, U.N. and local forensics experts in Bosnia have exhumed 16,500 bodies from more than 300 mass graves. Thousands of people remain missing and are presumed dead, reports the AP.