World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of Bosnian Muslims prayed with open palms on Wednesday as the coffins of 520 Muslim men and boys killed by Serbs in UN-protected Srebrenica in 1995 and tipped into mass graves were passed overhead through the crowd and finally buried 17 years later.
Draped in green cloth, the coffins were interred under a scorching sun in the Potocari memorial centre in eastern Bosnia at a funeral marking the anniversary of the massacre that brought the number of victims identified and buried to 5,657.
Bosnian Serb wartime commander Ratko Mladic is on trial in The Hague accused of masterminding Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two during Bosnia's 1992-95 war, but for the families of the victims, the search for justice was of little comfort.
"I don't care what happens anymore. There is no verdict that could bring back my son," said Sefika Menakic, 56, whose 15-year-old son Adem was killed as he tried to escape through the hills after Dutch peacekeepers abandoned the town designated as a U.N. "safe haven" to Mladic's Bosnian Serb forces.
Menakic learned three months ago that forensic experts had identified a shoulder bone of her son and several ribs, which she buried on Wednesday.
"It kills me to think he lays there headless," she said. "But at least I know I have a place to come and pray for his soul."
The remains of an estimated 2,400 Muslim men and boys are still to be identified or dug up from the mass graves they were dumped in by Mladic's forces.
"For those who committed this crime, there can be no absolution," said New York Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a Holocaust survivor and the first non-Muslim cleric to address the annual ceremony.
"Srebrenica control to pass to Serbs"
The ceremony was marred by whistling and booing when foreign and local dignitaries arrived, reflecting anger over a ruling that thousands of Muslim refugees from Srebrenica, who no longer live there, cannot vote in the town's local election in October, meaning control will likely pass to local Serbs.
Mladic, the 70-year-old former general of Bosnian Serb forces, was arrested in May last year, hiding in plain sight in a village in northern Serbia.
U.N. prosecutors opened their case against him on Monday at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, where Mladic faces a string of charges including genocide for the Srebrenica massacre and the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, which killed more than 10,000.
Despite the hot weather, approximately 50,000 people gathered at the cemetery for the 17th year of Srebrenica massacre.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag represented Turkey at the ceremony.
The war in Bosnia that lasted 3.5 years and continued with the "genocide" in Srebrenica came to an end in 1995 with the Dayton Peace Agreement. Around 100,000 were killed, 500,000 women were raped and 2.5 million people had become refugees. Following the ethnic cleansing, almost no Muslim population was left in the cities of Srebrenica, Foca, Zvornik, Bratunac and Visegrad in the east of country.
Prosecutors had earlier accused the 16 defendants of involvement in violence, riots and attacks on policemen following Morsi's ouster in July last year.
The insurgents stormed Mubi on Wednesday. Gunfire has been heard in the town ever since, witnesses said
Some people were being evacuated from the surrounding area as a precaution, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.
Some Scots feel the party, which has since launched a search for a new leader in Scotland, has lost touch with voters and failed to offer a distinctive vision for Scotland.
Jordanian Information Minister and government spokesman Mohamed al-Momani said Israel's measures in Jerusalem also ran counter to the international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention.
The controversial government-proposed amendment would increase to three the maximum number of five-year presidential terms available to a single individual, opening the door for Compaore – in power since 1987 – to seek reelection next year.
Atifete Jahjaga had been invited to take part in a meeting in Belgrade of the Trilateral Commission, a biannual gathering of influential business leaders, academics and policymakers
ISIL militants took the men from their villages to the city of Ramadi and killed them on Wednesday night and buried them, Iraqi officials say
Since Oct. 20 the Syrian military has staged at least 769 attacks including barrel bombings in many areas of Syria, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
Berlin sends military experts to Erbil to explore ways of better supporting peshmerga troops against ISIL
Opposition commander says more sophisticated weapons needed to defeat ISIL in Syrian Kurdish town Kobani
Israeli authorities closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex – for the first time since 1967 – and gunned down a Palestinian suspected of killing a rabbi
Tambuwal defected from the ruling party to the opposition on Wednesday
Hickox, who tested negative for the virus after returning from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, said that she plans to take the issue to court if Maine did not lift the quarantine
Eyewitnesses said scores of Palestinian students had hurled stones and empty bottles at an Israeli position near Birzeit, a town in northern Ramallah.
The 50 detainees were mainly Syrian but included nine Lebanese and one Palestinian, an army statement said.