Bosnia and Herzegovina

Over 97,000 Bosnians killed in civil war: study

News and Press Release
Originally published
BELGRADE, Jun 21, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- At least 97,207 Bosnians were either killed or went missing in the 1992-1995 civil war in the Balkan republic, half the number previously calculated, according to a new study released in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on Thursday.

About 60 percent of the total number of victims were soldiers and the rest civilians, said the study entitled the Bosnian Book of the Dead, conducted by the Sarajevo-based non-governmental organization Research and Documentation Center (RDC).

In terms of ethnicity, about 65 percent of victims were Bosnian Muslims, 25 percent Serbs and over 8 percent Croats, said the study, which is financed by the Norwegian government.

The Podrinje region reported the highest number of casualties, with 28,666, about 29 percent of the overall death toll of the war, followed by Sarajevo, with 14,011 victims.

Mirsad Tokaca, president of the RDC, said the aim of the study that was launched four years ago, is to identify each victim and prevent any manipulation of numbers, which he considers has been the case for years.

The study classifies war victims by status, ethnic affiliation, gender, age and so on.

Twelve years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord, the exact number of victims of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina has still not been determined. During the war, local authorities in Sarajevo publicly stated that about 200,000 people were killed, but estimations vary from 25,000 to 250,000.

According to Tokaca, this "playing with numbers" was the main reason why the RDC decided to collect the names and details of victims.

Tokaca said that the definitive number of victims might be higher, by 10,000 at the most, as the study is still underway.