War victims criticize independence celebrations by Bosnian Serb leaders
A Muslim Bosniak holds up a postcard showing skeletons that have been exhumed from mass graves of ethnic Bosniaks and Croats who died in the conflict during Serb ethnic killings, in Sarajevo on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014.(AP Photo/Amel Emric)
Published Thursday, January 9, 2014 11:36AM EST
BANJA LUKA -- Bosnian Serbs have the celebrated the 22nd anniversary of the day they proclaimed independence, angering relatives of the many Muslim Bosniaks who died during the war that followed.
In 1992, Bosnia's Serbs rebelled against the majority in Bosnia who opted for independence. They preferred to stay in Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, while Muslim Bosniaks and the republic's Catholic Croats wanted Bosnia to be an independent state. The subsequent war over this took more than 100,000 lives.
Many of those fatalities were ethnic Bosniak victims of Serb ethnic killings, and since the war ended many mass graves have been found.
During Thursday's celebration, many relatives of those victims sent Bosnian Serb leaders postcards with photos of those mass graves and a message about their region: "Don't forget, these are her foundations."
After the war, Bosnia remained independent but divided into two autonomous regions: one for the Christian Orthodox Serbs and the other shared by Bosniaks and Croats.