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Witness Describes Bosnian Serb Attack on Women and Children in Zecovi

27. November 2015.00:00
A state prosecution witness testifying at the trial of fourteen former members of Bosnian Serb military and police forces said approximately 50 women and children were detained in the basement of a house in Zecovi, near Prijedor. The witness said the house was torched by Bosnian Serb fighters.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Defendants Dusan Milunic, Radomir Stojnic, Radovan Cetic, Dusko Zoric, Zoran Stojnic, Zeljko Grbic, Ilija Zoric, Zoran Milunic, Bosko Grujicic, Ljubisa Cetic, Rade Grujcic, Uros Grujcic, Zdravko Antonic and Rajko Gnjatovic have been charged with committing acts of murder, torture, sexual violence, as well as destructing and confiscating property from the local residents of Zecovi, a village near Prijedor.

Milunic was the commander of the Rasavacka Company of the Sixth Battalion of the 43rd Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army. Stojnic was the commander of the reserve police station in Rasavci. Radovan Cetic was the president of the Serbian Democratic Party and crisis committee in the village of Rasavci. The other defendants were members of the Bosnian Serb military, police and other formations.

Z21, a protected witness and survivor of the Zevoci attack testified at today’s hearing. Z21 said she was eight years old in 1992. She said she remembered a group of Serb soldiers came to Zecovi one day that year.

“The women and children hid in a basement. Around 50 of us, maybe more. It was before dark and a soldier burst inside and forced us out,” Z21 said.

She said she didn’t know the soldiers. She said the women and children were soon sent back inside.

“They torched the house. We started suffocating from the smoke. Two women banged on the door, wanting to get out. The men, our men, who were hiding in the woods, heard our screams and ran to the house and opened it. Then we all escaped to the woods,” Z21 said.

She said she heard that her brother was killed a day later.

“The soldiers, the Serbs, they found us in the woods. The same ones that wanted to kill us. One of them told us to give him all our money. They took gold too. Then a truck came and we were sent to Travnik,” Z21 said.

The trial continues on December 4.

Džana Brkanić

This post is also available in: Bosnian