Manual Working in the Killing Fields: Forensic Science in Bosnia

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The original bridge, built in , was destroyed by artillery fire in Im age courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Successively part of the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Yugoslavia, Bosnia has historically been multiethnic, with ethnicity often aligning with religion. In , with the break-up of Yugoslavia, Serb ultra-nationalists living in Bosnia implemented a program of "ethnic cleansing" against non-Serb Bosnians, with the aim of joining part of Bosnia to Slobodan Milosovic's Greater Serbia.

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In addition to fomenting the worst human rights abuses seen in Europe since World War II, this genocide displaced nearly a quarter of Bosnia's pre-war population. Today, nearly one million Bosnians live in diaspora in a variety of places around the world. These are just a small selection of supplementary materials from the Library's collections. A complete list of our Bosnian Studies Materials can be found in the library catalog's Featured Lists. Other Guides you might find useful:.

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Limit Your Results. Full Text. References Available. Peer Reviewed. Learn More Successively part of the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Yugoslavia, Bosnia has historically been multiethnic, with ethnicity often aligning with religion.

Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences

Best Bets: Bosnian Studies. Full-text articles from scholarly journals published in central and eastern European countries. Serbia extradited Mladic to the Netherlands on Tuesday to face genocide charges; he was arrested last week in a village north of Belgrade after 16 years on the run. Oric, a Bosnian Muslim soldier captured by Serbs as he fled through the woods, is one of four men known to have survived the Srebrenica massacre.

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All endured the unspeakable ordeal of playing dead while Serb troops patrolled the blood-soaked field, finishing off anybody who showed signs of life with a pistol shot to the head. Ants bit Oric as they prowled his body, but he didn't dare move. Nearby, an old man begged for his life: "Children, we didn't do anything.

Don't do this to us. On top of Oric was his dead cousin Hars. In the execution line, Hars took Oric's hand and whispered: "They'll kill us all. At one point, Oric saw a Serb soldier walk in his direction. The soldier paused to shoot a man in the head, then continued walking toward Oric. It's my turn, he thought.

And for a few seconds before the expected shot, I wondered what it is like in heaven, or in hell. As he toured the meadow Thursday, Oric deciphered its grim geography: "This is where I lay This is where the pit was But destiny Close to midnight, the shooting stopped and the Serbs left. Oric's arms and legs were numb, but he managed to shake off his cousin's body and stand up. Moonlight shone over the field of bodies; he saw a shadow approach.


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But it was Hurem Suljic, a Bosnian Muslim bricklayer with a bum leg who had also survived. Suljic got closer and asked, "Are you wounded? Looking around, they saw others still alive but destined to die from rifle wounds. One man had a gash in his side exposing his kidney. Oric saw another man crawling on his arms, dragging behind his bullet-riddled legs.

Bosnia’s Reckoning

I won't make it. Oric and Suljic stepped over corpses and headed into the forest. The journey was hard because of Suljic's bad leg. At times, Oric said, he had to carry the older man on his back. Four days later, they crossed a mine field at the front line and were met by Bosnian soldiers. Before the trip back to Srebrenica, Oric took Merima to the school gymnasium where he and hundreds of other Bosnian Muslim captives had been held by Serb forces before the massacre. Oric said Mladic was there too on that day, inspecting the prisoners minutes before they were loaded onto trucks and driven to the execution ground.


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  • Suljic has given similar testimony. In the school gym, the Muslim men were told they would be part of a prisoner swap. But the men had doubts because they heard gunfire all around.

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    As Oric and his daughter toured the grounds, people in surrounding houses in the Serb-dominated area called out. Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Editor's note: This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing. Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

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    Show discussion. Want more world news? Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter. Europe on NBCNews. Survivor recounts horror of Bosnia's killing fields 'For a few seconds before the expected shot, I wondered what it is like in heaven, or in hell' Below: x Jump to photos The charges against Ratko Mladic photos x Jump to timeline Ratko Mladic timeline x Jump to discuss comments below discuss x Next story in Europe related.

    Bosnian Muslim Mevludin Oric and his daughter Merima visit the execution ground, a meadow surrounded by a forest, in the village of Krizevci near the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik, on Thursday. Story: Ratko Mladic describes charges as 'obnoxious,' 'monstrous' Oric, a Bosnian Muslim soldier captured by Serbs as he fled through the woods, is one of four men known to have survived the Srebrenica massacre. Photos: The charges against Ratko Mladic Open in new window loading photos Mladic, one of the world's most wanted men, was arrested on May 26, and faces charges of genocide and war crimes at the U.

    Citizens sprint across 'Sniper Alley' during the siege of Sarajevo in Mladic's forces besieged the city for 43 months, during which time an estimated 10, people were killed.