11 May 2010

Mass grave discovered in Serbia

6:34 pm on 11 May 2010

A mass grave of what's believed to be Kosovo Albanians has been discovered in Serbia. It is believed to date from the time of the Kosovo conflict.

The country's war crimes prosecutor's office said the information had come from Eulex, the EU police mission in Kosovo, and Serbia was sending investigators.

The victims are believed to have been killed during the 1998-99 conflict, when Serbian forces fought ethnic Albanian rebels in Kosovo.

The grave is near the town of Raska, close to the border with Kosovo.

The BBC reports there were rumours two years ago that the grave existed, but searches at that time found nothing.

The war crimes prosecutor's office said it would be several days before exhumations could begin at the site in Rudnica, about 180km south of Serbia's capital, Belgrade.

Previous findings

It is not the first time mass graves from the conflict have been found in Serbia.

The bodies of more than 800 Kosovo Albanians were found in several locations in Serbia in 2001, including police compounds.

The bodies were moved out of Kosovo before a NATO bombing campaign forced Serbian security forces out of the region.

Other, smaller mass graves have been found containing Serbian victims of ethnic Albanians.

Researchers in Serbia and Kosovo say more than 11,000 people died in the Kosovo conflict, most of them ethnic Albanian.