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Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 21:04 GMT 22:04 UK
Outrage over Srebrenica 'denial'
Women praying and laying flowers at Srebrenica
More than 7,000 Muslims were killed in the massacre

Families of thousands of victims killed near the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War have expressed outrage at a new report which concludes that the massacre never happened.

Scene of the massacre
The dead were either rounded up and executed, or hunted down in the woods
More than 7,000 Muslims were killed by Serb forces in Srebrenica in July 1995, in what is seen as Europe's single worst atrocity since World War II.

However, the report by the Bosnian Serb Government says that between 2,000 to 2,500 Muslims died - and it says most of those were soldiers killed in action.

The report also suggests Muslims may have "imagined or fabricated" the massacre.

'An insult'

It is generally accepted after extensive work by the United Nations, that more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in and around Srebrenica in 1995.

The town had been designated a safe area by the UN, but when Serb forces advanced, the UN was unable to protect the local population.

Previous investigations have concluded that the dead were either rounded up and executed, or hunted down in the woods.

But the new account suggests Muslim soldiers fleeing in exhaustion may have mistaken military clashes for a massacre which never happened.

Victims' groups were outraged, saying they had not imagined the killing of sons and husbands.

Paddy Ashdown, the British politician in charge of the international presence in Bosnia, described the report as "an insult" and added it was "preposterous".

But the head of the Bosnian Serb government's bureau which produced the report insisted it was prepared "in the interests of truth and reconciliation".

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The BBC's Raphael Jesurum
"I'm still looking for twenty-two members of my family that were taken away"

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02 Aug 01 | Europe
10 Apr 02 | Europe
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