The village of Kurtalici is located on the banks of the River Drina, eight kilometres from the city of Visegrad in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. A primary mass grave was found in Kurtalici in 2000 after the water level in the River Drina, close to the Bosnian-Serbian border, had fallen by several metres and receded by 20 metres along both banks. The remains of 62 Bosniak civilians were discovered.
According to forensic experts, the identification process was difficult because the bodies were piled up on each other, remains were intertwined and it was impossible to recognise which part of the skeleton belonged to which victim. Around the gravesite, a large number of empty ammunition shells were found, indicating that the victims were killed at the site.
The site, which lies on the right bank of the River Drina and Lake Perucac, remains unmarked.
Since the end of the war, a commemoration for war victims from Visegrad has been held on the last Saturday in May at the Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in the city. Roses are thrown into the Drina River in remembrance of the victims.
Visegrad was attacked and occupied in April 1992 by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), which installed a Serb-controlled administration. After the JNA left, the Bosnian Serb Army and the Serb-controlled police initiated a systematic and widespread campaign against Bosniaks, involving arrests, detentions in camps, torture, rape and killings, as well as the destruction of homes and religious buildings.
According to documents from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), around 1,600 people were killed in and around Visegrad, among them 600 women and 119 children, in what the court said was one of the most extensive and ruthless ethnic cleansing campaigns during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.