Bosnians March in Memory of '95 Srebrenica Massacre
'Peace March' draws 6K to walk the same path Muslims used to flee Serbs
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 8, 2011 11:09 AM CDT
A Bosnian grave worker passes piles of shovels as preparations are made for the mass funeral for 613 victims of the Srebrenica massacre, at the memorial cemetery Potocari, on Thursday, July 7, 2011.   (Amel Emric)
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(Newser) – It's a grim pilgrimage to the heart of Europe's worst massacre since World War II. Today thousands of people set off on foot through rugged mountains that Muslims crossed in fleeing Serb forces at Srebrenica, reviving horrific memories of being stalked by snipers, trapped in ambushes, and surviving on berries and stagnant water. The 6,500 marchers left a Bosnian village in which survivors sought shelter, on a 70-mile journey that will end in Srebrenica Sunday evening. On Monday, Srebrenica will host a ceremony marking the anniversary of the killings.

The main event will be a mass funeral to be held for the 613 victims who have been excavated from mass graves and identified through DNA analysis. Srebrenica—with its majority Muslim population—was a United Nations-protected area, besieged by Serb forces throughout the 1992-95 war for Serb domination in Bosnia. But UN troops there offered no resistance when the Serbs overran the town on July 11, 1995. There, Serbs proceeded to round up Srebrenica's Muslims and killed more than 8,000 men and boys—the climax to the war that claimed 100,000 lives over three years.