Nine bodies believed to be of Kosovo Albanians killed during the 1998-99 war have been exhumed from the open-cast mine at Kizevak in Serbia. This was confirmed by the Government of Kosovo which said in a statement quoted by local media that the excavation work was concluded on Wednesday.
In November 2020, experts from the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), the Kosovo Institute of Forensic Medicine, and the Serbian Government Commission on Missing Persons discovered human remains in Kizevak, a large quarry site in Serbia. And since then the excavation work continued in two phases with a break in the winter due to winter time. According to the Government of Kosovo the number of exhumed individuals is nine and of them two have been already identified.
According to authorities the two bodies identified using DNA testing were victims from the Rezalla massacre. In April 1999 Serbian military and police troops killed 36 civilians in the village Rrezalla of Kosovo and their bodies were removed few days later from their graves and transported to Serbia in an effort to hide the evidence of war crimes committed in Kosovo. In 2014 Serbian authorities handed over the repatriated remains of 24 individuals exhumed during mass grave excavations found in Raska.
Kosovo Government in a statement issued on Wednesday said that the new mass grave site has been fully assessed and all bodies have been exhumed. Part of the excavations were forensic experts of Kosovo, EULEX experts, Red Cross, and representatives of Serbian institutions.
There are still around 1,600 people listed as missing since the end of the war in Kosovo in 1999.