Emotional scenes at cemetery as Bosnian Muslims gather for collective funeral of the recently identified victims on 23rd anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

Bosnian Muslims, citizens of Sarajevo, pray near a truck, carrying the remains of 35 newly identified victims of Srebrenica genocide, while it makes a short stop in Sarajevo city center, on July 9, 2018.
Bosnian Muslims, citizens of Sarajevo, pray near a truck, carrying the remains of 35 newly identified victims of Srebrenica genocide, while it makes a short stop in Sarajevo city center, on July 9, 2018. ( AFP )

Thousands of Bosnian Muslims have gathered in Srebrenica on the 23rd anniversary of Europe's worst massacre since World War II to hold prayers and attend the funeral for 35 recently identified victims.

The remains of men and boys slaughtered at the enclave in July 1995 will be laid to rest on Wednesday in the town whose name has become synonymous with the brutality of the 1992-95 Bosnian war. 

The coffins have been lined up at a memorial centre and the burial pits have been dug.

TRT World's Caitlin McGee reports from Srebrenica.

Brutal war and UN's failure

Srebrenica was a UN-protected, Muslim-populated town in eastern Bosnia besieged by Serb forces throughout the war. 

However, Serb troops led by General Ratko Mladic – who now faces genocide charges at the Hague – 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.

TRT World's Nafisa Latic takes a closer look at how the events unfolded.

Turkish delegation in collective funeral

A Turkish delegation led by Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul as well as one-time Serbian presidential candidate Cedomir Jovanovic are participating in the collective funeral.

Tears and silence accompanied the scene as dozens of green coffins were lined up side-by-side.

Emotional scenes were witnessed as relatives of the victims bid their last farewells.

"Never Forget" – a slogan born out of the Srebrenica genocide – was displayed every where.

After this year's funeral the number of burials in the cemetery rises to 6,610.

Vesid Ibric, only 16 when he was killed, will be the youngest victim to be buried this year. Sahin Halilovic, the oldest, was 71.

Remzija Dudic, who was murdered by Serbian troops despite being six months' pregnant, will also be laid to rest.

After this year's funeral the number of burials in the cemetery rises to 6,610.
After this year's funeral the number of burials in the cemetery rises to 6,610. ( AP )

Victims reburied every year

In last year's commemoration, 75 Srebrenica victims were interred at the Potocari Memorial Centre. 

Every year, the remains of more victims are identified and buried in Potocari on the anniversary of the genocide.

Nearly 170 identified victims are in the Podrinje identification centre in Tuzla, but largely due to incomplete remains the victims have not yet been buried.

Hundreds of Bosniak families are still searching for missing people as a large number of victims were thrown into mass graves around the country during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies