Possible mass grave found in Macedonia

Other News Materials 16 June 2010 16:41 (UTC +04:00)

Macedonian and Kosovo officials are planning a joint investigation of a possible mass grave in Macedonia that might contain the bodies of Kosovan civilians killed in the 1999 war between Serb forces and Kosovan Albanians, officials said Wednesday, DPA reported.

"Kosovo and Macedonia are trying to find a way to organise and act over the suspected mass grave near the river Lepenec in Skopje," Skender Durmishi, Kosovo's ambassador in Macedonia, told the German Press Agency dpa.

"We are trying to put together a working group that will deal with the issue," he added.

Sources in the Macedonian government said that up to 40 bodies may have been buried by the riverbank. The victims had died in Kosovo but their bodies were brought by Kosovan Albanian refugees and buried in Macedonia, near the border with Kosovo.

It is not certain when the excavation would start, but August has been mentioned as a possible date.

The European Union's law-enforcement mission in Kosovo (Eulex) said its forensic experts would like to investigate the case.

In 1999 Serb forces brutally cracked down on a Kosovan Albanian insurgency fighting for independence, resulting in NATO's bombing of what was then Yugoslavia. Kosovo declared independence in 2008.