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Survivors mark 25th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre

SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnia is marking the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, the only crime in Europe since World War II that has been declared a genocide, with only a small number of survivors allowed to take part in commemoration events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The brutal execution in July 1995 of more than 8,000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys is being commemorated in a series of events and the reburial of recently identified remains of nine victims in a memorial cemetery and center just outside the town in eastern Bosnia.

The Srebrenica massacre is the only episode of Bosnia’s 1992-95 war to be defined as genocide, including by two U.N. courts. After murdering thousands of Srebrenica’s Muslims, in an attempt to hide the crime, Serbs dumped their bodies in numerous mass graves scattered throughout eastern Bosnia.

Body parts are still being found in mass graves and are being put together and identified through DNA analysis. Close to 7,000 of those killed have already been found and identified. Newly identified victims are buried each year on July 11 — the anniversary of the day the killing began in 1995 — in the memorial cemetery just outside of Srebrenica.

Typically, thousands of visitors from various countries attend the commemoration service and funeral, but this year only a relatively small number of survivors will be allowed at the cemetery due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dozens of world leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Spain's Pedro Sanchez, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Britain’s Prince Charles, are addressing the commemoration ceremony via prerecorded video messages.

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