News 02 Jun 14

Bosnia Exhumes Wartime Corpses Washed Up By Floods

An exhumation is being launched near the flood-hit town of Doboj after recent heavy rains uncovered human remains suspected to be those of victims of the 1992-95 war.

Elvira M. Jukic

Bosnia’s Institute for Missing Persons said on Monday that an exhumation would be launched in the northern Usora municipality, just south of Doboj, where human bones came to the surface after the floods that devastated the region last month.

The remains of one victim have already been found at Bare near Doboj, and more are expected to be discovered in Usora, where the exhumation will begin on Tuesday.

“We suspect those are victims from Jablanica near Maglaj,” said Lejla Cengic of the Institute for Missing Persons.

She said that a total of 16 people were killed in Jablanica during the war and that 12 of them were still missing.

Flooding washed away part of the River Bosna’s banks near Doboj, and when the waters receded, the bones were found by power company workers repairing the transmission system.

The Maglaj and Doboj areas were among the worst hit by the floods in Bosnia, with entire towns submerged by the deluge.

Tens of thousands of locals had to be evacuated from their homes, while hundreds of thousands of others left before the waters reached them.

The flooding also moved landmines left over from the war, and demining experts have been working to determine the locations of unexploded ordnance, warning of potential danger because mines could have shifted to unmarked areas.

Anti-tank weapons and hand grenades have also been found washed up after the floods, suggesting that some people maintained hidden arsenals after the war.

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