Genocide in Bosnia

Bosnian Genocide, 1992-1995

"It was a bloodbath:" The 1993 Srebrenica Children Massacre

‘Chaos, Carnage’: Official tells of Srebrenica horror

By Misha Savic
The Day, p. A3
15 April 1993.

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia — With deadly efficiency, Serb gunners blanketed the main street of Muslim-held Srebrenica with explosions designed to claim as many lives as possible, a U.N. official said Wednesday.

The barrage hit a school packed with refugees and a field where children were playing, he said.

“It was definitely calculated to launch a series of precise hits,” said Louis Gentile, an official of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees who returned from Srebrenica on Tuesday. “It was a bloodbath.”

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on Wednesday denied his forces shelled Srebrenica and said Muslims did it in order to blame the Serb. [note: Karadzic he was using this excuse regularly immediately after Serbs committed massacres against Bosniak civilians in and around Srebrenica and elsewhere]

Gentile’s account of Monday’s attack gives a view of the chaos and carnage from the heaviest shelling of the eastern town in months. At least 56 people died and about 90 were wounded in the attack, which was launched minutes after the Bosnian Serb commander in Sarajevo vowed to respect a cease-fire.

The town, packed with up to 60,000 refugees, is one of three areas the Boniak-led government still holds in eastern Bosnia.

“Heavy barrages of shells were systematically hitting the main street in Srebrenica, moving from the north to the south, meant to kill as many as possible,” said Gentile.

After the first rounds, people were throwing bodie or parts of bodies on ox-carts. Brains oozed from some of the victims’ eye sockets, he said.

“A little lane around the school was all red with blood,” Gentile said. “Pieces of flesh and skin were hanging on fences.”

Canadian peacekeepers were under fire while loading the dead and wounded into trucks to take them to the hospital, Gentile said.

But the hospital could not cope.

Surgical teams had to choose who to try to sew up first,” he said. “Doctors did not have the capacity to treat so many patients.”

“I remember two children whose faces were virtually ripped off,” Gentile said.

About 650 elderly men, women and children escaped Srebrenica on Tuesday, arriving at the refugee center in Tuzla, 45 miles to the northwest.

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