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Serbia finds a mass grave

Last Updated: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 18:15

Belgrade: Serbia has discovered a mass grave containing the bodies of some 250 Albanians killed during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo, the Serbian war crime prosecutor`s office said Monday.
"We can confirm that the grave was found," a spokesperson said.

Local media reported that the mass grave was found in the Raska region of southern Serbia, near the border with Kosovo and near a location that had been searched two years ago.

"We now believe we have the right location and we will do everything possible to get the bodies out and hand them over to their families as soon as possible," Bruno Vekaric, a spokesman for the prosecutor`s office, told local media.

The grave was found with the help of the European Union`s law-enforcing mission in Kosovo.

Vekaric said the discovery of the grave is proof that Serbia is willing to deal with all crimes, regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators or the victims.

In 1999, NATO bombed Serbia to stop Belgrade`s brutal crackdown on Albanian insurgents who were fighting for independence from Serbia.

Serbian forces were then controlled by strongman Slobodan Milosevic, who died in 2006 while on trial before the UN`s war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

During the Kosovo conflict, the remains of hundreds of Albanians were transported to several locations in Serbia to be buried in mass graves. The Raska grave is the sixth burial site discovered since the fall of Milosevic in 2000, Serbian state television RTS reported.

The Albanian majority in Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has been recognized by more than 65 countries, including the majority of the EU and the United States. Belgrade opposes it.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 18:15
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