Liplje 7

Liplje 7 is a secondary mass grave, located in the village of Liplje, eight kilometres south-west of the city of Zvornik. The site was exhumed in September and October 2005 by the Bosnian Federal Commission for Missing Persons.  The remains of 482 people were found; 113 were identified.

The DNA analysis showed connections between this secondary gravesite and a disturbed primary gravesite at Petkovci Dam. A forensics report by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY on Srebrenica exhumations said that this means that the remains of one individual were found in at least two different graves. The investigation also showed DNA connections between the site and four more gravesites in the same area. This indicates that remains that were dug up and removed from the primary mass grave at Petkovci Dam were transported to Liplje, 20 kilometres away. 

The gravesite is located next to a road, 500 meters from the Liplje 1 mass grave. The site is surrounded by a few houses and woods. 

On July 14, 1995, Bosnian Serb Army and police personnel transported approximately 1,000 Bosniak men from Srebrenica from detention sites in and around Bratunac to a school at Petkovci, ten kilometres from Zvornik. On July 14, 1995 and in the early morning hours of July 15, Bosnian Serb troops and police assaulted and shot men being detained at the school.

Around July 14, 1995 and in the early morning hours of July 15, personnel from the Bosnian Serb Army’s Zvornik Brigade including drivers and trucks from the Sixth Infantry Battalion transported the surviving Bosniak men from the school at Petkovci to an area below the Petkovci Dam. They were then summarily executed by Bosnian Serb Army soldiers and police with automatic weapons. In the morning of July 15, personnel from the Zvornik Brigade’s Engineering Company, working with other individuals and units, used excavators and other heavy equipment to bury the victims while the executions continued.

A man who hid beneath dead bodies to avoid execution at the dam told the trial of former Bosnian Serb Army general Ratko Mladic at the ICTY that when he was brought to Petkovci, the field under the dam was “already covered in bodies”. The witness, who testified under the codename RM-253, said he dropped to the ground as soon as soldiers opened fire on his group and hid his head underneath the legs of some prisoners who were already dead, hoping to survive.

While RM-253 and another survivor were hiding, they saw “a truck which was collecting bodies and loading them onto a tractor, which then transported them away from the killing field”. 

So far, the ICTY and domestic courts in the Balkans have sentenced a total of 47 people to more than 700 years in prison, plus five life sentences, for Srebrenica crimes. 

Cancari Road 5

Cancari Road 5 is one of the largest clandestine grave sites found near the River Kamenica in the Zvornik municipality in north-east Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The remains of 506 people were found, most of them male, in the exhumation carried out from August to October 2002 by the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute, assisted by the International Commission on Missing Persons. 

The mass grave is located on the right side of the road that leads through the village of Donja Kamenica. It is a large grass field with one abandoned house nearby. It is also one of the few mass graves in the country that has been marked with a small gravestone listing the number of victims and the year they were killed. 

Most of the victims buried at Cancari Road 5 are Bosniaks from Srebrenica who were killed in July 1995 by Bosnian Serb forces.  

Cancari Road 5 is also a secondary mass grave. Some bodies of Bosniaks from Srebrenica were initially buried close to execution sites in municipalities of Zvornik and Bratunac, but then dug up again and taken by the Bosnian Serb Army to more remote locations. At the time of the cover-up operation, the area around Kamenica was abandoned, as most of the Bosniaks who lived there before the war had either been killed or expelled. However, after the end of the war in November 1995, Bosniak refugees started to return and rebuild their houses, and they were the first to raise the alarm about human remains that they found in their yards and fields. 

Cancari Road 4

The series of gravesites known as Cancari Road in the Bosnian village of Kamenica were all discovered in 1998 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY. 

The Cancari Road 4 site was exhumed by the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute from August to September 2008, yielding the remains of 362 people, mostly the victims of genocide from Srebrenica. 

The gravesite lies to the right of the River Kamenica, next to a road, and is marked with a black plaque that carries the name of the mass grave and a verse from the Quran: “Think not of those who are slain on the path of Allah as dead. No, they are alive, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; they rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah.”

When it was discovered, it was 15 metres long, three metres wide and 1.6 to 2.5 metres deep, situated on a slight slope in a grassy area.

According to the International Commission on Missing Persons, the remains found were mostly those of males, and the grave contained both young and older victims. Also found were tobacco cases, digital watches, cartridge cases and bullets. 

The Cancari Road 4 is a secondary mass grave – victims were removed from the primary mass graves in Kozluk and Branjevo and transported here by Bosnian Serb forces in the autumn of 1995 as an attempt to cover up the massacres of Bosniaks from Srebrenica. 

Investigators from the ICTY established that at least one person whose remains were found at the Cancari Road 4 site had been killed in the Pilica Cultural Centre in July 1995. At least 500 people were detained at the cultural centre and then executed in the main hall by Bosnian Serb forces. There were no survivors. 

Their bodies were subsequently moved to nearby Branjevo Farm and a few months afterwards to other locations across Bosnia, including Cancari Road. The Pilica Cultural Centre is now abandoned and still has visible traces of the massacre, including bullet holes. 

So far, the ICTY and domestic courts in the Balkans have sentenced a total of 47 people to more than 700 years in prison, plus five life sentences, for Srebrenica crimes.

Cancari Road 2

There are at least 13 known secondary mass graves in the area designated as Cancari Road in the Bosnian municipality of Zvornik, close to the border with Serbia. The grave sites designated Cancari Road 1 to Cancari Road 12 were excavated in 1998 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, and multiple human remains were found in each. The last mass grave, designated Cancari Road 13, was located by the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute. Among locals, the area is known as the ‘Valley of Graves’.

The exhumation at Cancari Road 2, conducted in August 2002 by the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute and the International Commission on Missing Persons, found 224 remains, mostly victims of the Srebrenica genocide.  

The grave is located at the very beginning of the road that leads to the village of Kamenica from the city of Zvornik, right next to a small bridge over the River Kamenica. It is also close to several houses – mostly those of Bosniaks who returned to their homes after the war. 

Most of the mass graves alongside Cancari Road were discovered by villagers who mainly work in agriculture and recovered bones while cultivating their fields and yards. 

The Cancari Road 2 site, like all the other Cancari Road graves, is a secondary mass grave. War victims were reburied here in the autumn of 1995 in an attempt to cover up the killings of Bosniak men and boys in the Srebrenica genocide. Genocide victims’ bodies were initially buried near execution sites in Srebrenica, Pilica, Kozluk, Bratunac and Zvornik in the days after July 15, 1995. Two months later, Bosnian Serb forces were ordered to remove the bodies and rebury them in more remote and hard-to-find locations.

So far, the ICTY and domestic courts in the Balkans have sentenced a total of 47 people to more than 700 years in prison, plus five life sentences, for Srebrenica crimes and cover-up operations.

Cancari Road 6

Cancari Road 6 is one of a series of 13 mass graves found alongside a six-kilometre stretch of road by the River Kamenica in the municipality of Zvornik in north-east Bosnia and Herzegovina. Like all the 13 mass graves found in the area, the gravesite is a secondary mass grave.

An exhumation by the International Commission for Missing Persons, the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute and the local prosecution from the town of Tuzla from October to December 2008 revealed that the grave contained the remains of 881 people, most of them victims of killings after the fall of the town of Srebrenica in 1995.  

The grave site was 17 metres in length, around 36 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep, situated on a slope down to the River Kamenica, near an abandoned house.

Most of the victims were male and alongside the bodies, a number of objects were found including watches, cigarette cases, lighters and combs.

They were reburied here in the autumn of 1995 during a cover-up operation aimed at concealing the bodies of those killed at mass execution sites in Kozluk and Branjevo. 

After the fall of Srebrenica to Bosnian Serb forces, captured Bosniaks were brought by buses to Branjevo Military Farm for execution. Survivors described being led in groups to a meadow littered with corpses and told to turn their backs. 

On July 16, 1995, soldiers at Branjevo Military Farm were ordered to go some five kilometres east to the Pilica Cultural Centre to kill around 500 more Bosniaks who were being detained there. The inside of the Pilica Cultural Centre was described as having corpses “piled up on each other, just lying there scattered all over the place”; the bodies – two of which were female – were all wearing civilian clothes. The victims were then buried at Branjevo Military Farm and later reburied in secondary mass graves, including those at Cancari Road.

So far, the ICTY and domestic courts in the Balkans have sentenced a total of 47 people to more than 700 years in prison, plus five life sentences, for Srebrenica crimes.

Cancari Road 3

The Cancari Road 3 mass grave is one of a series of mass graves that were found along a road in the village of Kamenica in north-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, close to the border with Serbia.   

This secondary mass grave was the first of 13 mass graves found near the River Kamenica and exhumed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in May and June 1998. The remains of 155 people were found, most of them victims of Srebrenica genocide. 

The mass grave lies on the right side of the village road, unmarked, between several houses and agricultural land, some 15 minutes’ drive from the city of Zvornik. 

The bodies found in the grave are believed to have been killed at the Kozluk execution site, some 30 kilometres from Kamenica. 

The victims, mostly men captured by Bosnian Serb forces during their Operation Krivaja to seize Srebrenica, were brought to Kozluk, shot and buried in a nearby gravesite, close to the Vitinka water and soft drinks bottling factory. Soil and glass was dumped over the bodies, which were then dug up again later in the autumn of 1995 and reburied along the Cancari Road in an attempted cover-up. 

When investigators found the Cancari Road 3 mass grave, they also found pieces of broken green bottle glass, labels from the Vitinka factory and soil of a similar texture to that found at Kozluk.

The killings at Kozluk and the cover-up operations formed part of numerous Srebrenica cases both before national and international courts that found Bosnian Serb political leaders and members of their army and police forces responsible for atrocities committed after the fall of Srebrenica. 

So far, the ICTY and domestic courts in the Balkans have sentenced a total of 47 people to more than 700 years in prison, plus five life sentences, for Srebrenica crimes.

Liplje 1

Liplje 1 is a secondary mass grave located in the village of Liplje, eight kilometres south-west of the city of Zvornik. The site was exhumed in June and July 2001 by the Bosnian Federal Commission for Missing Persons. The remains of 228 people were found; 148 were identified.

The DNA analysis showed connections between this secondary gravesite and a disturbed primary gravesite at Petkovci Dam. A forensics report by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY on Srebrenica exhumations said that this means that the remains of one individual were found in at least two different graves. The investigation also showed DNA connections between the Liplje 1 site and four more gravesites in the same area. This indicates that remains that were dug up and removed from the primary mass grave at Petkovci Dam were transported to Liplje, 20 kilometres away. 

The site is located next to a school which was used as a detention camp for local Bosniaks in 1992. On the road that leads to school, there are two memorial plaques, one for the Bosniaks detained in the camp, and the other for the ones killed in the villages of Snagovo, Liplje, Josanica, Samari, Sultanovici and Novo Selo in the period from 1992 to 1995. The gravesite itself remains unmarked.

On July 14, 1995, Bosnian Serb Army and police personnel transported approximately 1,000 Bosniak men from Srebrenica from detention sites in and around Bratunac to a school at Petkovci, ten kilometres from Zvornik. On July 14, 1995 and in the early morning hours of July 15, Bosnian Serb troops and police assaulted and shot men being detained at the school.

Around July 14, 1995 and in the early morning hours of July 15, personnel from the Bosnian Serb Army’s Zvornik Brigade including drivers and trucks from the Sixth Infantry Battalion transported the surviving Bosniak men from the school at Petkovci to an area below the Petkovci Dam. They were then summarily executed by Bosnian Serb Army soldiers and police with automatic weapons. In the morning of July 15, personnel from the Zvornik Brigade’s Engineering Company, working with other individuals and units, used excavators and other heavy equipment to bury the victims while the executions continued.

A man who hid beneath dead bodies to avoid execution at the dam told the trial of former Bosnian Serb Army general Ratko Mladic at the ICTY that when he was brought to Petkovci, the field under the dam was “already covered in bodies”. The witness, who testified under the codename RM-253, said he dropped to the ground as soon as soldiers opened fire on his group and hid his head underneath the legs of some prisoners who were already dead, hoping to survive.

While RM-253 and another survivor were hiding, they saw “a truck which was collecting bodies and loading them onto a tractor, which then transported them away from the killing field”. 

So far, the ICTY and domestic courts in the Balkans have sentenced a total of 47 people to more than 700 years in prison, plus five life sentences, for Srebrenica crimes. 

Hodzici Road 7

Hodzici Road 7 is a secondary mass grave (also known as Snagovo 2), located near the village of Snagovo, 17 kilometres north-west of the city of Zvornik. A total of 230 remains were exhumed from the site, while 110 were identified. There are seven known mass graves in the area dubbed Hodzici Road, all of them secondary gravesites.

The Hodzici Road 7 site, which was called Snagovo 2 by the Bosnian Federal Commission on Missing Persons, was exhumed in October and November 2005. The International Commission on Missing Persons monitored the process, and its DNA analysis showed connections between this secondary gravesite and the disturbed primary gravesite called Lazete 2 (also known as Orahovac 2). A forensics report by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY on Srebrenica exhumations said that this means that the remains of one individual were found in at least two different graves.

The investigation also showed DNA connections between this site and Hodzici Road 1 (also known as Snagovo 4) and Hodzici Road 6 (Snagovo 1). This indicates that remains that were dug up from primary mass grave Lazete 2 were then transferred to Hodzici Road, some ten kilometres away.

The gravesite remains unmarked, next to a country road, surrounded by woods.

ICTY verdicts found that captured Bosniak men from Srebrenica were transported on July 14, 1995 to a school in the village of Orahovac. In the early afternoon, Bosnian Serb Army Zvornik Brigade personnel under the supervision of Drago Nikolic,a security officer with the Bosnian Serb Army’s Zvornik Brigade, and Milorad Trbic, Assistant Commander for Security with the Zvornik Brigade, then transported the captives to a nearby field, where personnel, including members of the 4th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, executed them with automatic weapons.

In related verdicts, the ICTY’s trial chamber found Radislav Krstic, the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Drina Corps, guilty of genocide against Bosniaks from Srebrenica – its first verdict establishing that the Srebrenica masacres constituted genocide. Krstic was sentenced to 46 years in prison, although the sentence was subsequently shortened to 35 years.

The ICTY also found that Ljubisa Beara, the chief of security of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Main Staff, was told to organise, coordinate and facilitate the detention, transportation, summary execution and burial of the Bosniak victims murdered at Orahovac. Beara was assisted by, among others, commander Vujadin Popovic, Chief of Security of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Drina Corps, as well as Nikolic and Trbic.

Beara, Popovic, Nikolic and Trbic were found to have supervised, facilitated and overseen the Orahovac executions, and the ICTY convicted them of genocide. Vidoje Blagojevic, commander of the Bratunac Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for aiding and abetting the murder and persecution of Bosniaks in the Srebrenica area, as well as aiding and abetting the murder of Bosniaks in Bratunac. Dragan Jokic, chief of engineering of the Zvornik Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, was sentenced to nine years in prison for the murders of Bosniaks in Orahovac, at the Branjevo Military Farm in Pilica and in Kozluk, and for providing engineering resources and personnel to dig mass graves for the executed victims.

According to the Federal Institute for Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the remains of 818 Bosniaks from Srebrenica were discovered at seven secondary gravesites in the Snagovo area.