Two Kosovo Albanians Identified from Wartime Mass Grave in Serbia

The International Commission on Missing Persons told BIRN on Tuesday that experts have confirmed the identities of two people whose remains were found in a mass grave in the village of Kizevak in southern Serbia.

The ICMP said that samples of the partial remains of a third person found in the grave in Kizevak match samples of remains that were previously found in another mass grave in nearby Rudnica several years ago and identified.

It explained that of the eight postmortem samples from the Kizevak exhumation that it analysed, "two… are new identities, and one is a reassociation with a case from Rudnica which was recovered, sampled, and DNA identified in 2014".

The mass grave in an open-cast mine in Kizevak, near the Serbian town of Raska, was discovered in November. An exhumation was launched shortly afterwards but was temporarily halted at the beginning of December due to bad weather.

Belgrade Higher Court told BIRN that "the work will be continued depending on the weather conditions in the field".

The Higher Court said that the remains of at least five people have been found so far.

"Preliminary field, archaeological and anthropological information indicates so far that parts of at least five people have been observed or discovered, plus a large number of fragmented bones that cannot be reliably claimed to belong to someone in particular," the court explained.

Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti said on Monday that he had received information that the remains exhumed in Kizevak belong to ethnic Albanian war victims.

Speaking at a commemoration of the anniversary of massacres in the Kosovo villages of Kraljane/Kralan and Rezala/Rezalla, where a total of 185 ethnic Albanians were killed by Serbian forces,...

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