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BRATUNAC, JULY 5 /SRNA/ - A memorial service will be held today at the cemetery in Bratunac for 3,265 Serbs from the central Podrinje who died from Muslim forces in the past war, including those killed on Saint Peter's Day 28 years ago in the villages around Srebrenica and Bratunac.


The event will be attended by the Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska Radovan Višković, a delegation of the National Assembly, the Minister of Labor and War Veterans and Disabled Persons` Protection Duško Milunović.

A memorial will be served at 11:00 AM and wreaths will be laid to the central memorial cross at the Bratunac cemetery.

The biggest crime against the Serb civilian population was committed in the Podrinje area in the defense-patriotic war.

Muslim forces have repeatedly carried out violent attacks on unprotected Serb settlements, leaving devastation and death behind.

2,652 Serbs were killed only in the area of Srebrenica, Zvornik, Skelani, Milići, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Osmaci. In the wider area of central Podrinje and Birač, a total of about 3,500 Serbs were killed, and 5,400 families were left without movable and immovable property.

From early May 1992 to mid-January 1993, Muslim forces carried out more than 60 attacks on Serb villages and settlements.

16 Serb villages and settlements were attacked in the area of Srebrenica and more than 400 Serb civilians were killed. At least, 460 Serbs were killed in the attack on 20 Serb villages in the municipality of Bratunac.

On Saint Peter's Day 1992, Muslim forces, under the command of Naser Orić, have invaded dozen Serb villages, looting and burning everything they could find. In the Serb villages of Zalazje, Biljača, Sase and Zagoni, 69 Serb civilians were killed and massacred, while 22 were captured and killed.

In the village of Kravica near Bratunac, at dawn, on Orthodox Christmas, January 7, 1993, strong Muslim forces broke into the village and committed a massacre of the locals.

On that day, 54 Serbs were killed, including women, children and the elderly. 80 people were wounded and seven men were captured and after torture they were all killed.

The villains dragged their severed heads through the streets of Srebrenica. Their bodies were never found or buried with dignity.

That sad Christmas, all 688 Serb`s houses and more than 2,000 auxiliary facilities were set on fire, as well as 27 social facilities in and around Kravice.

About 1,000 locals managed to escape towards the Drina, carrying with them a large number of children and the wounded.

At dawn on 16 January 1993, Muslim forces, again under the command of Naser Orić, attacked Skelani area, killing 57 Serbs, wounding 165 and capturing 30, who were taken to a camp in Srebrenica.

The Serb population, seeking salvation, fled towards the bridge that connects Skelani with Bajina Bašta in Serbia.

A large number were wounded and killed on or near the bridge when they tried to cross the Drina river. The youngest victims were four-year-old Aleksandar and his twelve-year-old brother Radisav Dimitrijević, who were killed by sniper shots in an attempt to cross the bridge and find salvation in Serbia.

Of the 30 captured Serbs, half did not survive torture in the Bosniak prison and camp in Srebrenica.

All Serb villages around Skelani, more than 20 and four Orthodox churches were destroyed and set on fire by Muslims during the war.

Serb villages in the areas of Vlasenica, Milići, Zvornik and Kalesija were also continuously exposed to attacks and crimes.
The settlement of Kamenica in the municipality of Zvornik suffered several attacks during 1992 and 1993. In one of those attacks on Glođansko brdo, 52 soldiers of the Republika Srpska Army were captured.

During the liberation of Kamenica in February 1993, mass graves with the bodies of captured soldiers were found. Traces of torture were found on all bodies, while chains, nails and other means used by members of Muslim formations to torture and abuse prisoners were found at the places of suffering.

In 2006, the Hague Tribunal sentenced Naser Orić to two years in prison for crimes against Serbs. After appealing against the first-instance verdict Orić would be released.

Naser Orić was also acquitted before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina for war crimes, so no one has been convicted for crimes against the Serb people of Podrinje.

Due to epidemiological measures, today's commemoration in Bratunac will be humbler and with a limited number of participants.

The organizer of this event is the Board of the Government of Srpska for nurturing the traditions of the liberation wars. /end/bo