Serbia Searches for New Kosovo War Mass Grave

Serbian experts will examine the site of another suspected mass grave near the town of Raska, where the bodies of 37 Kosovo Albanians killed during wartime have already been found.

The Serbian war crimes prosecution on Thursday ordered the examination of an additional site near the Rudnica quarry in southern Serbia, where a mass grave containing the bodies of Kosovo Albanians killed during the 1990s war was found in December.

Veljko Odalovic, the head of Serbian commission for missing persons, said that the remains of 37 bodies had already been exhumed from the grave.

“The exhumation will continue this month as well,” Odalovic said.

The Serbian authorities are in charge of the exhumation, but teams from the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, the Red Cross, the International Commission for Missing Persons and the Kosovo missing persons commission are also taking part in the search.

On Thursday the site was visited by the assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations at the United Nations, Edmond Mulet, and the head of UN Mission in Kosovo, Farid Zarif.

“We are encouraging all sides to continue working in the same way as they have done so far, transparently and in a spirit of cooperation, especially thinking of the victims and their families,” Mulet said.

The process of identifying the remains is continuing, according to the authorities, but the names of the victims will not be made public until relatives have been informed.

The area was first probed in 2010, after the Serbian war crimes prosecution, in cooperation with the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, announced that there could be a mass grave in Raska containing the bodies of at least 250 Albanians, although nothing was found until last year.

There are still around 1,700 people listed as missing as a result of the Kosovo conflict.

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