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Serbs Find 81 Bodies in 10 Days

December 3, 1998

KULA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ Serb forensic experts searching for victims of wartime atrocities have recovered 81 bodies from various cemeteries in Sarajevo over the past 10 days, they said today.

Among the bodies are 27 presumed victims of Musan Topalovic, the Bosnian Muslim warlord known as Caco, the experts told reporters. Caco, killed later in a government sweep on criminals, massacred more than two dozen Serb civilians in 1993 and left their bodies in a pit at the city’s edge.

Sarajevo’s Muslim authorities later had the bodies buried in a Sarajevo cemetery from where the Serb teams exhumed them under an agreement with Bosnia’s Muslim officials and foreign diplomats overseeing postwar Bosnia.

Milan Ivancevic, a member of the Serb forensic team, praised the ``great help from ... Muslim and international officials.″

The Serb figures were contested by Vlado Raguz, an undertaker in charge of funerals in Sarajevo during the war. He asserted in separate comments that among the remains exhumed by the Serbs was a Croat who died of natural causes.

About 200,000 people were killed in the 3 1/2 year Bosnian war that ended in 1995 with the U.S.-sponsored Dayton peace agreement. An additional 20,000 went missing and are feared dead.

Exhumations have been conducted by all three sides _ Muslims, Croats and Serbs _ since 1995 in an effort to track down the fate of the missing. No totals exist on the number of bodies recovered since then.

But international and Muslim experts have recovered more than 2,000 bodies in northwestern Bosnia, many of them apparently Srebrenica inhabitants massacred after the Serbs overran the Muslim enclave in 1995.

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