Archive for Visegrad genocide

OPEN LETTER FROM ED VULLIAMY TO AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 29, 2009 by visegrad92

Open Letter to Amnesty International

To whom it may concern:

I have been contacted by a number of people regarding Amnesty International’s invitation to Professor Noam Chomsky to lecture in Northern Ireland.

The communications I have received regard Prof. Chomsky’s role in revisionism in the story of the concentration camps in northwestern Bosnia in 1992, which it was my accursed honour to discover.

As everyone interested knows, a campaign was mounted to try and de-bunk the story of these murderous camps as a fake – ergo, to deny and/or justify them – the dichotomy between these position still puzzles me.

The horror of what happened at Omarska and Trnopolje has been borne out by painful history, innumerable trials at the Hague, and – most importantly by far – searing testimony from the survivors and the bereaved. These were places of extermination, torture, killing, rape and, literally “concentration” prior to enforced deportation, of people purely on grounds of ethnicity.

Prof. Chomsky was not among those (“Novo” of Germany and “Living Marxism” in the UK) who first proposed the idea that these camps were a fake. He was not among those who tried unsuccessfully (they were beaten back in the High Court in London, by a libel case taken by ITN) to put up grotesque arguments about fences around the camps, which were rather like Fred Leuchter’s questioning whether the thermal capacity of bricks was enough to contain the heat needed to gas Jews at Auschwitz. But Professor Chomsky said many things, from his ivory tower at MIT, to spur them on and give them the credibility and energy they required to spread their poisonous perversion and denials of these sufferings. Chomsky comes with academic pretensions, doing it all from a distance, and giving the revisionists his blessing. And the revisionists have revelled in his endorsement.

In an interview with the Guardian, Professor Chomsky paid me the kind compliment of calling me a good journalist, but added that on this occasion (the camps) I had “got it wrong”. Got what wrong?!?! Got wrong what we saw that day, August 5th 1992 (I didn’t see him there)? Got wrong the hundreds of thousands of families left bereaved, deported and scattered asunder? Got wrong the hundreds of testimonies I have gathered on murderous brutality? Got wrong the thousands whom I meet when I return to the commemorations? If I am making all this up, what are all the human remains found in mass graves around the camps and so painstakingly re-assembled by the International Commission for Missing Persons?

These people pretend neutrality over Bosnia, but are actually apologists for the  Milosevic/Karadzic/Mladic plan, only too pathetic to admit it.  And the one thing they never consider from their armchairs is the ghastly, searing, devastating impact of their game on the survivors and the bereaved. The pain they cause is immeasurable. This, along with the historical record, is my main concern.  It is one thing to survive the camps, to lose one’s family and friends – quite another to be told by a bunch of academics with a didactic agenda in support of the pogrom that those camps never existed. The LM/Novo/Chomsky argument that the story of the camps was somehow fake has been used in countless (unsuccessful) attempts to defend mass murderers in The Hague.

For decades I have lived under the impression that Amnesty International was opposed to everything these people stand for, and existed to defend exactly the kind of people who lost their lives, family and friends in the camps and at Srebrenica three years later, a massacre on which Chomsky has also cast doubt. I have clearly been deluded about Amnesty. For Amnesty International, of all people, to honour this man is to tear up whatever credibility they have estimably and admirably won over the decades, and to reduce all they say hitherto to didactic nonsense.

Why Amnesty wants to identify with and endorse this revisionist obscenity, I do not know. It is baffling and grotesque. By inviting Chomsky to give this lecture, Amnesty condemns itself to ridicule at best, hurtful malice at worst – Amnesty joins the revisionists in spitting on the graves of the

dead.  Which was not what the organisation was, as I understand, set up for.  I have received a letter from an Amnesty official in Northern Ireland which reads rather like a letter from Tony Blair’s office after it has been caught out cosying up to British Aerospace or lying over the war in Iraq –

it is a piece of corporate gobbledygook, distancing Amnesty from Chomsky’s views on Bosnia, or mealy-mouthedly conceding that they are disagreed with.

There is no concern at all with the victims, which is, I suppose, what one would expect from a bureaucrat. In any event, the letter goes nowhere towards addressing the revisionism, dispelling what will no doubt be a fawning, self-satisfied introduction in Belfast and rapturous applause for

the man who gives such comfort to Messrs Karadzic and Mladic, and their death squads.  How far would Amnesty go in inviting and honouring speakers whose views it does not necessarily share, in the miserable logic of this AI official in Belfast?  A lecture by David Irving on Joseph Goebbels?

Alistair Campbell on how Saddam really did have those WMD? The Chilean Secret Police or Colonel Oliver North on the communist threat in Latin America during the 70s and 80s?  What about Karadzic himself on the “Jihadi” threat in Bosnia, and the succulence of 14-year-old girls kept in rape camps?

I think I am still a member of AI – if so, I resign. If not, thank God for that. And to think: I recently came close to taking a full time job as media director for AI. That was a close shave – what would I be writing now, in the press release: “Come and hear the great Professor Chomsky inform you all that the stories about the camps in Bosnia were a lie – that I was hallucinating that day, that the skeletons of the dead so meticulously re-assembled by the International Commission for Missing Persons are all plastic? That the dear friends I have in Bosnia, the USA, the UK and elsewhere who struggle to put back together lives that were broken by Omarska and Trnopolje are making it all up?

Some press release that would have been. Along with the owner of the site of the Omarska camp, the mighty Mittal Steel Corporation, Amnesty International would have crushed it pretty quick.  How fitting that Chomsky and Mittal Steel find common cause. Yet how logical, and to me, obvious.  After all, during the Bosnian war, it was the British Foreign Office, the CIA, the UN and great powers who, like the revisionists Chomsky champions, most eagerly opposed any attempt to stop the genocide that lasted, as it was encouraged by them and their allies in high politics to last, for three bloody years from 1992 until the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.

Yours, in disgust and despair,

Ed Vulliamy,

The Observer.

Remembering Barimo Massacre 1992-2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by visegrad92

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Image: The monument in Barimo dedicated to Bosniak genocide victims.

Barimo, a all- Bosniak village near Visegrad, was attacked by Bosnian Serb Army forces in August 1992.  26 Bosniak civilians were killed and the village was set ablaze. A few days ago, survivors of this crime came back to open a monument to their loved ones. The monument was opened by Emina Bajric, one of the rare survivors of the massacre.

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Image: Article about the opening of this monument in Dnevni Avaz.

This was one of the worst massacres in the Visegrad Genocide, the ages of victims was from 1900 to 1980, a large number of these victims are women and children. The oldest victim was 92 years old and the youngest 12 years old:
1. Bajrić Omera Mustafa, 1930;

2. Bajrić Džemila, 1918;

3. Bajrić Hrustema Džemila, 1935;

4. Bajrić Mustafe Fadil, 1957;

5. Bajrić Mustafe Nijaz, 1965;

6.Bajrić Fadila Emir,  1980;

7. Bosankić Hadžira, 1913;

8. Bosankić Ibrahima Muša, 1940;

9. Samardžić Smail,  1912;

10. Samardžić Đeše Munira, 1927;

11. Beha Ibrana Ćamila,  1941;

12. Beha Bege Sabaheta, 1968;

13. Beha Bege Hidajeta,  1976;

14. Šabanović Razija,  1933;

15. Kos Sulejmana Vejsil, 1932;

16. Kos Sulejmana Slakan, 1951;

17. Tvrtković Ćamil Muharem, 1933;

18. Puhel Hrustema Kadesa, 1928,;

19. Kurtalić Adila,  1948;

20. Kahriman Dervo, rođen 1938,;

21. Menzilović Huso, rođen 1938;

22. Menzilović Huse Suad,  1968, ;

23. Zuban Mušan Ibrahim,  1953;

24. Zuban Mušan, 1912 ;

25. Zuban Sabira,  1961;

26. Halilović Hanka,  1900.

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Image: The opening of the monument in Barimo.

Barimomekteb

Image: Bosniak Genocide survivors, praying in front of the ruins of the Barimo islamic school (mekteb) which was destroyed by Bosnian Serb Army during it’s attack on Barimo in August 1992. Read more on destruction of mosques in Visegrad Municipality here.

Picture credit: MIZ Visegrad.

Exhumation at mass grave in Visegrad

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by visegrad92

We earlier wrote about a new mass grave in Visegrad. The new mass grave was located in Straziste cemetery.The site was covered with garbage. Among the remains of Bosniak victims were roof tiles, rubbish and especially lime.Information about this mass grave was given by local Serbs: a dying Serb who was witness to the disposal of these bodies.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

grobnica4

Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

grobnica5

Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

grobnica6

Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

grobnica7

Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

grobnica8

Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

Who was murdered in Koric’s cafe?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by visegrad92

We call upon all who know the identity of Bosniaks murdered in Zijad Koric’s cafe in Nova Mahala street in Visegrad. There were around 4-5 persons murdered in the cafe. Hajra Koric, Zijad’s wife, survived this massacre, but was later shot and killed by Milan Lukic on Bikavac.

Pozivamo sve Višegrađane koji znaju ime i prezime ubijenih Bošnjaka 1992 godine u kafani KORIĆ ZIJADA u Novoj mahali.Znamo da je ubijeno 4-5 Bošnjaka muškaraca među kojima Kadrić Nezira Muhamed. Žena rahmetli Korić Zijada Hajra je uspjela pobjeći ali…… je Milan Lukić i dr. pronašli na Bikavcu i ubili kako bi sakrio izvršeni zločin nad Bošnjacima.

+Read: Who killed Hajra Koric?

Missing: Himzo & Ahmet Omerovic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2009 by visegrad92

Image: Ahmet Omerovic Ape and Himzo Omerovic.

Father and son – Himzo and Ahmet Omerovic have gone missing since the Visegrad Genocide. Their fate is unknown and their remains have not been found. According to some witnesses, both Himzo and Ahmet were detained in Uzamnica concentration camp, while according to others, Ahmet was arrested in Jondja street where he was hiding. He was supposedly last seen, covered in blood, leaving the Police Station.

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Image: Nurko Dervisevic

According to Nurko Dervisevic, a Hague witness, Ahmet Omerovic was held in Uzamnica and taken away by Milan Lukic:

” He called out Enes

3     Dzaferovic and his brother and another young man, Omerovic, the son of

4     Himzo Omerovic, and said, “You are going for the weekend to Bajina

5     Basta,” and he took those three men away. “

We ask anyone has any information about the whereabouts of Himzo and Ahmet Omerovic to leave a comment or send us an email.

Bosnians Forced Out of Town Describe Massacre

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by visegrad92

Newsday
4 July 1992

Bosnians Forced Out of Town Describe Massacre

Roy Gutman

MIRATOVAC, Yugoslavia Hasnija Pjeva witnessed the execution of her husband, Nenad, from the terrace of her house outside Visegrad.
It was 7:30 a.m. on June 24, and Nenad was returning from his overnight factory shift when the armed men in Serbian paramilitary uniforms spotted him. Nenad ran toward the nearby riverbank, but the irregulars shot him dead. They dragged his body onto the bridge, then threw it into the green water of the Drina.

“I didn’t bury him,” Hasnija said of her husband two days later, tears welling up in her eyes. “The river took him away.”

Abdulah Osmanagic was at his home in Visegrad, a virtual prisoner since Serb forces seized the predominantly Muslim town three months ago. They burned down the two ancient mosques and roamed the streets, firing small arms day and night. Early last week, three of his neighbors were shot in their home.

“The bodies were just left lying there in the courtyard,” Osmanagic said. He knew it was time to get out of his house.

Emina Hodzic’s husband was abducted one noon; her son that same evening. Mediha Tira’s husband was taken away by men with blackened faces.

The killings all took place last week in the Bosnian town whose Turkish-built “Bridge on the Drina” was immortalized by Yugoslavian novelist Ivo Andric. There are now two bridges, and after last week’s events, both will find their place in the literature of war atrocities.

Except for an unknown but apparently small number who escaped, all of the able-bodied Muslim men and youths of Visegrad who had not fled the occupiers were shot, according to a dozen survivors.

“Most of the executions were committed on the bridge. Their bodies were thrown into the river,” said Osmanagic, 73, the unofficial leader of the survivors. It appears that dozens were executed, perhaps hundreds. No one knows exactly.

Visegrad, with a population of about 30,000, is one of several towns where Serb forces carried out “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims in the last two weeks, according to the Bosnian government.

“There was chaos in Visegrad. Everything was burned, looted and destroyed,” said a man expelled from Visegrad. He would give neither his name nor profession. He escaped only because he was an invalid.

The survivors of the massacre are the old, the infirm, the women and the children. They are traumatized by what they witnessed, barely able to control their emotions or to speak. Two of the women had been raped, Osmanagic said. But the heartbreak was compounded by humiliation they endured at the hands of the local Serbian Red Cross.

Against their wishes, 280 people were shipped in five buses across Serbia, the principal state in the new Yugoslavia, to Macedonia, a breakaway state, a journey of about 275 miles. The Serbian Red Cross gave them food and clothes but insisted they sign papers saying they had been well-treated and wanted to go to Macedonia.

“We all wanted to go to Kosovo or Sandzak,” two mainly Muslim areas of southern Serbia, Osmanagic said, “but they directed us exclusively to Macedonia. There was no other choice.”

He carried a paper requesting that the Macedonian border authorities provide passports and admit the entire group. But Macedonia, which has more than 30,000 Bosnian refugees, has stopped accepting any more, particularly Muslims, because of substantial problems with its own Muslim minority, according to Mira Jankovska, a government spokeswoman in Skopje.

And so the Macedonians refused to allow the survivors of the Visegrad massacre to cross the border. It was 4 a.m.

Osmanagic conferred with the drivers, and they agreed that everyone should disembark and try to enter on foot, but the Macedonian police turned them away. “I ran back to the buses, and everyone followed, but when the drivers saw us, they turned the buses around and left,” he said.

For 16 hours on June 25, the survivors found themselves stranded in a no-man’s-land on an international highway without food, water, shelter or assistance, abandoned by the Red Cross, welcomed nowhere. Fifteen of them were older than 80, and there were at least as many children under the age of 2.

Albanian Muslims in this impoverished farm village in southern Serbia gave them bread, water and tomatoes. Then in the evening they arrived with tractors and taxis and took them to a small mosque. On the advice of a local doctor, who feared the spread of disease, the survivors were moved to private homes two days later.

“If the people of the village hadn’t helped us, half of us would be dead of starvation or illness,” Osmanagic said. One woman, age 92, died after the ordeal. She was buried last Sunday.

Now the survivors of Visegrad sit in this village at the end of a potholed dirt road, sleeping on the floors and couches of its simple houses, caught between the hostility of Serbia and Macedonia, unattended by any refugee organization, unable even to contact anyone outside, for there is no phone.

“We have a saying,” Osmanagic said, summing up their plight. “The sky is too high, and the ground is too hard.”


“Then they set the house on fire and everyone inside was screaming – I was the only one who got out”.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by visegrad92

The Guardian
20 August 1992

“Then they set the house on fire and everyone inside was screaming – I was the only one who got out”.

Maggie O’Kane’s 36-hour trek out of besieged Gorazde brought her to Visegrad with its burned houses along the Drina river valley, a small haven for eastern Bosnia’s Muslims driven from home by conquering Serbs. In the valley, the survivors told their story.

Her ears are melted away. All that is left are two waxy, twisted beige blobs like burned out candles. Her forehead is covered in a huge scab that is still healing and her nose is a maze of burst blood vessels.

She holds out her bandaged burnt arms delicately in front, like a Hindu woman at prayer. She says she is the only one who survived. Her name is Zehra Turjacanin. She is aged 31, a textile worker from Visegrad with a Muslim name. This is her story.

“It happened on June 27. Milan Lukic, a policeman in Visegrad, knocked on our door. He had six Serbs with him from Obrenovac. He said we were to go with him.

“There were eight people in my house: my mother, Djulka, my sisters, Dzehva and Aida and their children, Elma who was four, Ensar who was two, Sada who was five, and Selmir who was seven.

“After about 100 metres we went into another house on Bratislav Street. We were told to go in by the balcony. When we got to the balcony door, I saw that there was a wardrobe against the front door and all the windows had been blocked with furniture.

“There were Serbs all around the house and they were drinking. We tried to stay on the balcony but they started to throw stones at us to make us go inside, then they threw hand grenades. We went inside and it was full of people. They were crying.

“We were the last ones in and then the Serbs took a garage door from another house and put it up against the balcony, so we couldn’t get out. It was just after eight, when the curfew starts in Visegrad, and we were all in a sort of kitchen-dining room. I saw about 10 babies and some old people, but it was mostly families.

“I think there were about 70 people in that room. They weren’t screaming or banging on the doors, just crying because they knew what was going to happen.

“I said to my mother, ‘Don’t worry, they won’t kill us’. Then they set the house on fire and everyone inside was screaming, but nobody could get out. I saw the window in the garage door and I pulled myself through it.

“I was the only one who got out. I was wearing trousers, a jumper and a cardigan, and I pulled off my burning clothes. Outside the Chetniks were standing around watching the house burning. They were drunk and playing music very, very loud, so no one could hear the sound of the burning people screaming inside.

“One of the Chetniks saw me and shouted at me to stop, but they were far away from the house because of the big blaze. Then he just shrugged his shoulders and I ran and hid. I was the only one that survived.

“At one in the morning, I knocked on Ismeta Kurspahic’s door with my foot, and then I went to the Chetnik’s headquarters and I said to the commander: ‘Kill me, just kill me.’ But he said he wouldn’t and he brought Dr Vasiljevic to me and then took me to an old woman’s house.

“I stayed there for a day and then the old woman said Milan Lukic was looking for me, because I was the only one that survived and I knew. So I hid in the cemetery. Then I walked for 18 days and the territorial defence found me and they brought me here.”

Here is the mountain village of Medjedja, in a place the Muslims call the Valley of Freedom. It is a stretch of beautiful Bosnian countryside along the rivers Praca and Drina that wind their way below pine forests and through villages. A 50-mile stretch of the valley that is a last sanctuary for people like Zehra Turjacanin.

Thousands of Muslims have fled here, driven out from towns like Visegrad, Foca and Rogatica, to find peace in this valley. But once inside they are trapped – surrounded by the Serbs. “A bird cannot pass from here,” said one refugee.

But last Friday afternoon, in the driving thunderstorm, the Serbian checkpoint that guards the western entry to the valley was unmanned.

There is no petrol in the valley, so the mountain road along the Praca river is deserted. The Serbs had been through here in April and May. Burnt-out Muslim homes bear testimony to their coming. The people fled into the mountains while their homes were being looted and then moved back to their burnt-out villages, and the Serbs moved on to richer pastures.

A Bosnian soldier came up from the river bank to say we were in Free Bosnia. “Come to the commander,” he said. But the commander came along the river path to us. He and his men melting out of the trees, dressed in teeshirts, jeans and running shoes and carrying rifles. They were young, most in their early twenties and wearing green headbands. They wanted cigarettes; none had come through to their isolated valley for four months.

This Robin Hood band were going “up” – up in to the hills behind Gorazde to attack Serbian artillery positions. The scout who led the way carried a sack on his back, and the noses of a dozen rockets peeped from behind his right shoulder.

The commander, who had a walkie-talkie, was a electrical engineer before he went to war. He wore a green chiffon headscarf with silver spangles around his head. He paused to write our note of passage into his valley.

In the village of Ustipraca, Nehad Devlic said the Serbs had come in April. Then he was a rich man, owned three restaurants and two cars and a lorry. He fled into the forest and when he came out the Serbs had taken his Alfa-Romeo, his Volkswagen Golf and his lorry and burned down his three roadside cafes.

He now lives from the land, on eggs, wild plums and sacks of wheat that come down from the fields high in the mountain. We go to visit the ruin of his roadside restaurant, built in the days when tourists passed on the road to Sarajevo and Dubrovnik. But now the roads have been blocked.

They defend the valley by causing landslides from the hill on to the road to prevent the Serbs from coming back up along the river. The balconies of the modern apartment blocks in Ustipraca are filled with chopped wood. There are no cars, no electricity, and the telephones have been cut off.

There is a tranquillity in Ustipraca, peace among the charred houses in the shade of the mosque, which has a single shell hole left by passing Serbs making their point as they went through. Old men sit in the sun, surrounded by scrawny dogs looking for food and love, with hunting rifles ready for the Serbs if they come back.

In the village of Kopaci it is not so quiet. In Mehmed Mehovic’s back garden, under trees heavy with apples and plums, broken branches cover an 8ft long cluster bomb, designed to open in the air as it falls and send baby bombs scattering over his village. The cluster bomb did not explode and has been embedded in his back garden since June.

The sound of mortars boom outside. The Serbs are still mortaring the village from the distant hills. “It’s okay, they are only 105mm; they could be 155mm, they’ve used them before – takes the house away,” says the commander.

There is no cover, no cellar. The sound of the mortars landing is like the continuous sound of a door being slammed. An unemployed English-language enthusiast, aged 28, says: “Are you British, will you help us? Do you know that song from Black Sabbath – In the Ashes the Bodies Are Burning?”

Every day someone is injured or killed in Kopaci, but they have to hang on. There is nowhere to run to.

“Wait and listen for the whistle of the mortar, then you know it’s close” says Mehmed.

On Saturday afternoon Senad Niakonja, aged 10, was wheeled in his father’s barrow to see the doctor on the hill, to take out the mortar shrapnel in his back.

Among the refugees in Kopaci is Aldijana Hasecic, who tells us of Zehra Turjacanin’s ordeal. He will take us to see her, but first he wants to say that he has come from the woods near Visegrad and has seen the camp where Serbian men are taking Muslim women.

“It’s called Zamnica and it used to be an army barracks. It’s about 10 kilometres from Visegrad to the east. I went there early in the morning of August 9. It was 5am. The people that had escaped from the Chetniks told us there was a camp for Muslim women there. We went to see if we could save them, but it was too difficult. There were too many Chetniks. I didn’t see any of them being raped, but we know it’s happening. I saw them from the trees taking the young women out from the trucks and into the barracks.”

On the hill above the village of Medjedja the next day, a weeping woman in an orange polka-dot scarf says: “They took my daughter. They took all the girls from the village. We don’t know where they are. I haven’t seen her for four months”. Standing with her in the ruins of her house, where the only identifiable object is a scorched fridge freezer, are Hamed Sulejman and his wife, Kahriman. They have come to live in the woman’s woodshed. Kahriman says they were burnt out of their village and now her home is the woodshed where she lays out her jars of pickled fruit on a shelf above the mattress.

All along the mountain top are small burnt-out villages, clumps of houses where the people who have come out from the forests to live again among the ruins tell the same story, of how the Serbs came, looted their homes, burned them down and moved on.

In the lower hill, near Visegrad, a family of Muslims who fled from the town three months ago keep their bags packed in the sitting room. “We are ready to run if they come for us again,” says their son, Milos, who says he knows of the man called Milan Lukic. He says he watched him execute his friend, Hasan Veletovac, aged 16, on the bridge over the river Drina. “I was hiding in the attic of my house which looks over the bridge. They do the killing at night. They drink first in the Visegrad hotel. When the Chetniks go in ac tion they must drink. They bulldozed the two mosques in the main street in Visegrad so we wouldn’t come back.”

We came out through the trees and walked the last couple of miles into Visegrad, in the open along the road. At first no one seemed to notice two strangers in a town that had a population of 20,000 before all Muslims were driven out and into the valley – 10,000 people.

“All the Muslims have gone,” a journalist at the Visegrad radio station would say later, when he came to translate for us in the police headquarters. “Muslim extremists were responsible, they are on the hills around us. They attacked our church and now there is no mosque in this town.”

But first there is a little time to pass quietly to the main street, where on the corner with Bratislav Street rust coloured earth marks the spot where the first bulldozed mosque stood. Further down the street another mound marks the site of the second mosque.

Behind the supermarket on Bratislav Street, looking out on the cemetery, are the tired remains of a burnt-out house. A house that may have been the one where Zehra Turjacanin’s family and 60 others were burnt to death. We asked casually about a man called Milan Lukic.

“Yes,” said the Visegrad radio journalist. “He’s a policeman here. Not the chief, just an ordinary policeman.”

Papers checked. The English journalists are allowed to pass out of town in a police car with a kind Serb driver who offers cigarettes. A truck piled with furniture is parked outside the burnt-out shell of a two-storey house.

“Muslimanis,” he says, and drives us on through another 20 miles of charred Muslim homes and villages, through an apocalyptic rural wasteland that is the new Serbian republic of Bosnia.


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