Koritnik-The Kurspahic Tragedy

On June 14 1992, in Pioneer Street(Pionirska Ulica) in Visegrad around 60 Bosniak civilians, (women, children and elderly) were barricaded and burnt alive in Adem Omeragic’s house. Almost all were from Koritnik village and a majority of them belonged to the Kurspahic family. Koritnik was looted and set ablaze.


Image: Senad Kurspahic, standing in front of his house in Koritnik next to a board with names of his family who were burnt alive(including a 2 day-old baby) in Adem Omeragic’s house in Pioneer street in the center of Visegrad.


Image: Visegrad genocide survivors and family members gather in Koritnik to mark the crimes committed there.


Image: Family members place boards with names of victims-their loved ones who were murdered by the Bosnian Serb Army.


Image: Genocide survivors and family members leave a sign for the perpetrators: “War criminals, our neighbours first robbed us, expelled us and then burnt us alive. 8 of us survived.”

Read more:

1.Milan&Sredoje Lukic Judgement

2.Huso Kurspahic – Legacy of Truth

3.List of Bosniak Women and Children Burnt Alive in Visegrad

One Response to “Koritnik-The Kurspahic Tragedy”

  1. Dermot Groome’s opening words in Vasiljevic’s trial:

    All they wanted to do was to leave Visegrad. By the 14th of June, 1992, the ethnic cleansing operation in Visegrad was well underway. It was as widespread as it was brutal. Most of the town’s Muslims who had already fled once in fear, only to return, had now fled for a second and final time. Those who remained were among the last to believe what they hoped to be impossible had now come to pass.

    On the 13th of June, a Serb from Koritnik walked over to his Muslim neighbours and announced with surprising straightforwardness, “You have to leave. You are being ethnically cleansed. You must leave for Kladanj.” These last remaining Muslims of Koritnik, finally resigned to the awful reality around them, they agreed to leave.

    When they crossed the old Turkish bridge in Visegrad on the 14th, they were simply looking for the Red Cross. They had been told a bus would be waiting for them to take them to safety. There was no bus. They were told perhaps tomorrow.

    Their great tragedy began when they met the accused, Mr. Vasiljevic. Mr. Vasiljevic is not the most infamous among the Tribunal’s indictees. He is no powerful politician accused of the grand plans of the carnage in Bosnia. He is a simple waiter, one generally liked by Muslims and Serbs alike. But he is one who, by his own hands, committed an act which is perhaps one of the single most horrific and egregious affronts to humanity in the war, to the most innocent of victims.

    Judge Hunt, Judge Janu, Judge Taya, on behalf of the Prosecutor, Ms. Carla Del Ponte, it is both my legal responsibility and my privilege to stand before you and to describe the evidence the Prosecution intends to present in this case against Mr. Vasiljevic.

    The crime I am speaking about began when Mr. Vasiljevic offered his help to these desperate, desperate people. He led them to a specific house. He told them to remain there the night. They would be safe. He ssued them written authorisation to stay overnight. He told them he worked for the Red Cross, that they would be placed on a bus to safety the first thing in the morning.

    He would then participate with Milan Lukic and several others in burning those people alive. At least 65 people, mostly women and small, helpless children, were forced into a house on the edge of a creek that had already been prepared with highly flammable liquid and set on fire.

    There was a small baby among them; she had yet to see her third day of life. Anguished cries from the dying echoed along that gully for two hours after the match was first struck.

    This was not the first time Mr. Vasiljevic and Milan Lukic had killed Muslims. They, along with others, had marched seven unarmed men to the eastern bank of the Drina River and cowardly shot them in the back until they had believed they had killed all of them.

    One of those men was an old colleague of Mr. Vasiljevic’s. His frantic pleas for mercy to his old friend were silenced by a bullet to the back of his head. The seven men dropped into the river that day. Fate spared two, who will recall that day for you during the course of this trial.


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