A team of forensic experts has started a site operation to assess a location suspected to be a mass grave in central Kosovo.
European forensics experts are examining a possible mass gravesite in the Klina region, central Kosovo, to search for victims of the 1999 war. A team from EULEX’s Department of Forensic Medicine worked on Thursday on the suspected site to ascertain whether it is a mass grave.
“The actual site is 3.5 km from the centre of the city [Klina], right by the river,” EULEX’s spokesperson Bardha Azari told BIRN.
EULEX forensic experts plan to assess more than thirty potential sites this year as part of their continued search for missing people from the Kosovo war and its aftermath.
The plan is to conduct site assessments and exhumations in the regions of Gjakova, Peja, Klina, Prizren, Mitrovica, Skënderaj, and Podujevo.
But according to EULEX, Thursday’s site assessment in Klina “was not part of the projected exhumations, but part of an on-going investigation.”
Thirteen years after the end of war in Kosovo, out of the total of 6,019 persons reported to the International Red Cross as missing by their families, over 1,400 remain unaccounted for- most are Kosovo Albanians.
Associations of families of missing persons, and Pristina authorities have recently called on Belgrade to reveal what happened to their loved ones who went missing during the 1999 war. They are presumed to have been killed by Serb security forces.
Last weekend, the remains of at least two people were discovered in northern Kosovo, during construction work in a private property close to the former Yugoslav Army barracks in the southern part of Mitrovica.
Local residents, and associations of families of missing persons suspect that the site where the two bodies were found wrapped in a blanket, are victims of the 1999 war.
Remains previously found near the same site belonged to people who died during World War II.
The EULEX spokesperson told BIRN that the exhumation on this site is expected to start next Thursday, June 14th.