A sprawling open-pit iron mine closed four years ago could be a mass grave for up to 8,000 Muslims and Croats killed by Bosnian Serbs in a campaign of "ethnic cleansing," according to a published report.
The remains are those of victims that have been exhumed from other mass graves in the area and taken to the mine, where they are reburied under tons of debris, the New York Times said today, citing reports from non-Serb miners in the northwest Bosnian town of Ljubija.
The bodies are often mangled by mining equipment and doused with chemicals before being buried in the mine, the paper said.
Senior British commanders stationed in the region with a NATO peacekeeping force told the newspaper that British patrols frequently uncover badly decomposed corpses, which they said are then whisked away by Bosnian Serbs.
"Everyone seems to be in a hurry to cover their killings," said a senior British commander the newspaper did not name.
Ljubija residents told the newspaper that in the summer of 1992 they saw busloads of Muslims and Croats taken through the gates of the mine but never saw any return.
The Ljubija mine and suspected mass graves in Srebrenica could be the key to proving Bosnian Serbs methodically launched a campaign of genocide against Muslims and Croats, a human rights advocate said.