THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Ahead of burial, Bosnians line street to mourn victims of Srebrenica killings

Two women comforted each other yesterday among the 775 coffins of the Srebrenica victims. The burial will be held tomorrow. Two women comforted each other yesterday among the 775 coffins of the Srebrenica victims. The burial will be held tomorrow.
(Amel Emric/Associated Press)
Associated Press / July 10, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

Text size +

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — Thousands were lined along Sarajevo’s main street yesterday while trucks bearing 775 coffins passed through on their way to Srebrenica, where the victims of Europe’s worst crime since the Nazi era will be buried.

There were pained sighs mixed with Muslim prayers when the four trucks appeared around a corner. The weeping crowd tucked white and red roses into canvases covering the coffins as the trucks drove slowly down a street sprinkled with rose water.

The 775 sets of remains, found in mass graves and identified through DNA tests, will be buried at a memorial center near Srebrenica tomorrow — the 15th anniversary of the crime.

More than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in Srebrenica over several days when Serb forces overran the town in July 1995.

Yesterday, several women screamed when the trucks stopped for a few minutes in front of the Bosnian presidency building.

People approached the vehicles and gently stroked the canvases covering the coffins.

“Let me touch him,’’ a woman screamed, pushing her way through the crowd to the truck. She then slammed her palms against the canvas and sunk on her knees. “Four of my brothers, four of my brothers,’’ she kept repeating as people around her tried to lift her up and comfort her.

“When you pray, your brothers can hear you,’’ one woman comforted her, while trying to press a bottle of water against her lips.

Another elderly woman leaned against the truck with both hands as people around her were sprinkling her head with water. She wasn’t crying but did not appear to be fully aware either.

“My name is Zaha Husic, please, my two sons are here,’’ she kept telling a policewoman.

“Zaha Husic . . . Zaha Husic . . . two . . . two,’’ the woman repeated while the officer hugged her, saying, “It’s all right, take your time, I’m holding you.’’

Boston.com top stories on Twitter

    waiting for twitterWaiting for Twitter to feed in the latest...