Thursday, December 16, 2004

  Serbian authorities hand over bodies of Kosovo Albanians to UNMIK

Merdare, 16 December: Representatives of the Serbian government's Coordination Centre have handed over the remains of 44 Kosovo Albanians , exhumed from the mass graves in Batajnica [Belgrade suburb] and Perucac [western Serbia], to UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] representatives at the gate 3 of the Merdare [administrative] border crossing.

[Passage omitted]

"Forty four bodies were handed over to UNMIK representatives, of which 32 had been exhumed from the mass grave in Batajnica, and 12 from the mass grave in Perucac," [the Coordination Centre for Kosovo-Metohija bureau for missing and kidnapped persons head, Gvozden] Gagic has said.

Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj attended the handover, as well as Kosovo government members and representatives of associations of missing Kosovo Albanians.

[Passage omitted]

At the same time, Gagic said that 458 bodies, exhumed from three mass graves in Serbia, remained to be identified.

The total of 836 bodies have been exhumed from the mass graves in central Serbia - Batajnica, Perucac and Petrovo Selo [southeastern Serbia], and 378 bodies have been handed over to UNMIK and Albanian families so far.

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