Many bodies from Kosovo war misidentified

Jan. 17, 2011 at 1:44 PM

PRISTINA, Kosovo, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Many victims of the conflicts in Kosovo in the late 1990s were wrongly identified and subsequently buried under someone else's name, officials say.

Veljko Odalovic, president of the Republican Commission for missing and abducted people, said misidentifications were made during exhumation of bodies for their return to relatives, Serbian newspaper Blic reported Sunday.

"Re-exhumation of remnants of 77 people killed in conflicts in Kosovo and Metohija carried out in recent two years showed that 13 bodies were wrongly identified," Odalovic said.

Odalovic said the scale of the exhumations was a major factor in the misidentifications.

"One of the reasons is in the fact that there was huge number of exhumed bodies," he said. "Identification was carried out on the basis of clothes and things found and in haste because the teams of the Hague Tribunal were under pressure to collect as many pieces of evidence as possible for the trials against Slobodan Milosevic and several generals from Serbia."

Many Albanians and Serbian families are rightly concerned and disturbed over possible wrong identification, Odalovic said.

"I am sorry to say that families that undertook remnants are not in a better position than those families now waiting for over 10 years to learn the truth about destiny of their kidnapped or missing members", he said.

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