THE remains of more than 100 Muslim victims of Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war were found in a lake in the eastern part of the country, officials confirmed last night.
Some 500 incomplete sets of bones, exhumed from Perucac Lake by Bosnian and Serbian forensic experts, should account for around 108 victims, officials from institutes for missing people of the two countries said in Sarajevo.
The remains of the victims – believed to be Muslims killed at the start of the war by Bosnian Serb forces carrying out ethnic cleansing near the eastern town of Visegrad – must be identified through DNA analysis.
“After taking samples for identification, we should have the first victims’ identities within the next four to six weeks,” said Amor Masovic, head of the Bosnian Institute for Missing People.
Mr Masovic presented the results of the exhumation operation at the lake – a reservoir on the Drina River, which marks the border between Serbia and Bosnia – along with his Serbian counterpart Zeljko Odalovic.
Since late July, some 15 forensic experts, helped by more that 2000 civilian volunteers and the army, have searched the lake’s emptied bed.
Authorities are still searching for 824 Muslims reported missing in the Visegrad region, Mr Masovic said, and it is believed that a third of them were thrown into the lake.
Bosnia’s inter-ethnic war between its Croats, Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives and some 10,000 people are still reported as missing, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.