BELGRADE

The Bosnian war from 1992 to 1995 took away all the male members of the Halilovic family and their mother.

The Halilovic family is one of many who suffered during the war and the Srebrenica genocide on July 11 in 1995.

The family had two sons and two daughters. But only the daughters have remained after the war.

The sons were killed in the Srebrenica genocide, which is described as the greatest human tragedy in Europe after World War II.

Esnaf Halilovic, whose remains were found in a mass grave, will be buried Sunday on the 26th anniversary of the genocide. along with 18 other identified victims

Rahima Halilovic, Esnaf’s aunt, told Anadolu Agency the war broke up the family.

She said the elder Halilovic was the one who was first killed.

“He left home to go to work in 1992 and never returned. Later on, my mother-in-law lost her life in a mortar attack during the war. We took care of the four children who were left homeless with my husband, Sabahet,” she said.

Halilovic said Esnaf’s brother, Almir, and her husband were killed while they were trying to reach the “safe zone” in Tuzla through a forest path.

“The bone remains were found in the Suceska area. Only a few bones were found. We will bury them and give them final peace,” she said.

Halilovic said that the other brother’s body has still not been found.

“They were killed while they were innocent and without sin,” she said, noting they were loved by everyone.

“The bone remains that have been found need to be buried. Finally this year, we will have a funeral on July 11 so that we will have a grave to pray,” said Halilovic.

More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed after Bosnian Serb forces attacked a UN “safe area” in Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.

Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form a state.

The UN Security Council declared Srebrenica a “safe area” in the spring of 1993. But Serb troops, led by Gen. Ratko Mladic overran the UN zone. Mladic was later sentenced to life for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone. Some 15,000 residents of Srebrenica fled to the surrounding mountains but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 in the forests.

Bodies of victims have been found in 570 different areas in the country.

*Writing and contributions by Talha Ozturk in Belgrade

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