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Tuesday, 20 November, 2001, 16:00 GMT
Croatian town remembers its dead
Croatian soldiers lead the wreath-laying ceremony
Hundreds perished after Vukovar was captured in 1991
By Alix Kroeger in Vukovar

In the Croatian town of Vukovar, 150 people have taken part in a wreath-laying ceremony at a former Serbian detention camp.

The town of Vukovar fell to the Yugoslav national army in November 1991 after a three-month siege.

The survivors were taken to a warehouse on the edge of town where, 10 years ago, hundreds were beaten and killed.

Wreath-laying ceremony at a stone plaque commemorating the sufferings of the Vukovar's citizens
Survivors say around 800 people were killed

Igor Bognad, who was nine years old when Vukovar fell, showed me the place where he saw his father killed - shot in the back of the head by Serb soldiers.

Igor and his father were taken to the Velepromet warehouse on the edge of Vukovar, along with everyone else who had remained in the town during the siege.

Now 20 years old, he said he had come back because he wanted to honour his father's memory.

Survivors say about 800 people were killed at Velepromet, but the number of missing and unaccounted for makes it hard to be sure.

After three or four days in Velepromet, the men were sent to detention camps on Serb territory.

They were only released months, and sometimes years, later.

Velepromet is now a warehouse again.

Lorries arrive for deliveries, and a disused petrol pump in the forecourt still shows the price in Yugoslav dinars.

A stone plaque commemorates the sufferings of those detained here in 1991.

At the wreath-laying ceremony on Tuesday morning a priest led prayers.

"Every place where Vukovar's citizens were killed is sacred," he said.

"To everyone who loves their homeland, this is a holy place."

See also:

18 Nov 01 | Europe
Croat town remembers fall
29 Jun 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Viewpoint: The West did not do enough
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