Zaklopaca is a small village in the Milici municipality in north-eastern Bosnia, close to the city of Vlasenica. The Bosnian Missing Persons Institute discovered two gravesites in the village in close proximity to each other. The first exhumation was conducted in 1998, when the remains of eight people were found. It was also concluded that the site had been tampered with and bodies had been transferred to another location.
A second exhumation in 2004 resulted in the discovery of a second grave 500 metres away from the first one. It contained 54 war victims’ remains, including 11 children aged from four to 12 years. The youngest victim was four-year old Naida Hodzic and the oldest was 62-year old Fatima Berbic.
The gravesites remain unmarked, located between a lime pit called Zlatanova Krecana and the Studeni Jadar river.
On May 16, 1992, Bosnian Serb Army troops and police officers killed 56 Bosniak civilians, including women, children and elderly people. Twelve people who survived the massacre and fled to the city of Vlasenica were tracked down and killed in the days that followed. After the massacre, an earth mover from the Boksit mining company was used to dig the pits in the village of Zaklopaca where the bodies were dumped.
Amor Masovic, chairperson of the Bosnian Federal Commission for Missing Persons, said that among the victims in the grave were 29 people from the Hodzic family.
In March 2022, the Bosnian state court handed down a first-instance verdict acquitting two former policemen and three Bosnian Serb Army ex-soldiers of involvement in the murders of Bosniak civilians in Zaklopaca. The court concluded that it had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt that Radomir Pantic, Nenad Vukotic, Branko Jolovic, Milomir Milosevic and Nikola Losic committed the murders in 1992.
According to the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute, 955 Bosniaks went missing in the Vlasenica and Milici municipalities between 1992 and 1995.
The largest mass grave found in the Vlasenica area was the Ogradice mass grave, from which the remains of 232 victims were exhumed in 2003. The Zaklopaca mass grave was the largest found in the Milici municipality. Thirty-seven victims were also exhumed from the Susica mass grave.