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Wednesday, 21 February, 2001, 13:10 GMT
Serbs bury bus bomb victims
Serb mouners in Gracanica
Serb women weep over the coffins of the victims
By Nicholas Wood in Gracanica

After four days of waiting, the Serb community in the Kosovan town of Gracanica has finally been able to put some of its dead to rest.

The service, for eight out of at least 10 civilians killed by last Friday's bus explosion, took place in the enclosure of Gracanica monastery.

Remains of the bus
The coach was under military escort when the bombers struck
The church was too small to house the several thousand people who attended.

The coffins were lined up close together, with wooden crosses propped up against them. The names of each person were marked in cyrillic.

Three bore the same surname, Cokic - Njegos and Snezana, a young husband and wife, and between them, a white casket with their two-year-old son, Danilo.

Community in shock

Snezana's mother cried and wailed. The family was coming from southern Serbia to visit her in Gracanica when they were killed.

The community here is still in shock about the attack.

The blast did so much damage that some of the dead have still to be identified and the final death toll is still in dispute.

Hans Haekkerup (left)
Kosovo administrator Hans Haekkerup joined mourners
The funeral itself was led by the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

It was also attended by Hans Haekkerup, the head of the UN mission in Kosovo, as well as General Carlo Cabiogiosu, the commander of the NATO-led peacekeeping forces KFOR.

They know that this service marks the end of the international community's patience with Kosovo, and that KFOR and local Albanian leaders are under severe pressure to ensure that further attacks do not take place.

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See also:

16 Feb 01 | Europe
Serbs die in Kosovo bus blast
16 Feb 01 | Europe
Analysis: Serbs under threat
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