Bosnia and Herzegovina mark the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in which over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims – mostly men and boys – were killed.

Relatives of victims pray as they visit the memorial cemetery in Potocari near Srebrenica, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 10, 2019.
Relatives of victims pray as they visit the memorial cemetery in Potocari near Srebrenica, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AP)

Bosnia is marking the 24th anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide on Thursday by burying 33 newly-identified victims in a collective funeral.

The massacre by Bosnian Serbs in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 killed over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that history will never forget the 1995 Srebrenica genocide that massacred more than 8,000 innocent people.

"Srebrenica genocide, which took place before the eyes of Europe and claimed lives of 8,372 innocent people, will never be forgotten throughout the history," Erdogan said on Twitter.

In his post, Erdogan also conveyed his condolences to Bosnian people and wished God’s mercy to those killed.

Every year on July 11, victims identified in recent times are buried in a memorial cemetery in Potocari, eastern Bosnia. 

After this Thursday's funeral, the number of burials in the cemetery will rise to 6,643.

Osman Cvrk, only 16 when he was killed, will be the youngest victim to be buried this year. 

Saha Cvrk, the oldest, was 82. She is the only woman to be buried at this year's ceremony.

The remains of the 33 victims were being transported by a truck from the Bosnian city of Visoko to Potocari.

TRT World's Omer Kablan reports from Srebrenica.

How did the massacre unfold?

The Bosniaks were killed after Bosnian Serb forces attacked the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.

Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form their own state.

The UN Security Council had declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993. 

However, Serb troops led by General Ratko Mladic overran the UN zone. 

The Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing about 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone. 

Some 15,000 Srebrenica people fled into the surrounding mountains, but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 of them in the forests. 

Mladic was found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in 2017 and given a life sentence.

Locating bodies

Victims were thrown into mass graves scattered around Srebrenica.

It took years for investigators to locate all the sites and complete DNA testing of the bodies.

Body parts were often mixed in different locations, making it harder for investigators to make the match.

Most of the victims' remains have been found in mass graves near Srebrenica, but more than 1,000 are still considered missing.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies