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Series 7: Do not forget
GENOCIDE IN KLJUC
On 27 May 1992, armed forces of the Federal Republic Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) (Yugoslav National Army / Yugoslav Army) and their collaborationists from Bosnia and Herzegovina commenced the artillery and infantry attacks against the Bosniac settlements of Velagići and Pudin Han. The attack lasted two days, and twelve civilians were killed during the attack. After the operation, the Serb units ordered all the residents (children, women, and the elderly) of these settlements to gather in front of the Center. There, they separated 200 men and detained them in the elementary school Nikola Mačkić in Ključ, which became the place of massive incarceration of Bosniacs. At the same time, they plundered the property, burnt the houses, intimidated, apprehended and physically ill-treated population. Serb police and military units in Sanica, Krasulje, Ramići, Hripavci, and Prhovo searched the houses and unlawfully arrested men, took them the places of incarceration in the buildings of elementary schools in Sanica and Pudin Han, building of the former railways station in u Sanica, police building, factor of machines, and the town stadium in Ključ. On 31 May 1992, more than 200 men were captured in Sanica, taken to Sitnica, and kept for five days in the elementary school, without any food or water, and then they were taken of the camp Manjača.
Massive killing of Bosniacs were also committed in the village of Prhovo on 1 June 1992, when the Serb forces took seven men in front of a shop and killed them publicly. After the separation of men, they took them towards the settlement of Peć, and killed on the way 15 people, and detained other men to the camp in the elementary school Nikola Mačkić. On the same day, in Prhovo, 38 Bosniacs were killed in front of a house. Of this number 17 were women. More than 50 Bosniacs were killed in only several hours in that settlement. Apprehension, arrests, and incarceration of people continued throughout that day in the settlement of Velagići, or better to say in the hamlets of Vojići, Nezići, Hasići, and Hadžići, and the captives were detained in the elementary school in Velagići. Massive execution of civilians was committed during that night, and around 130 people were killed on the occasion. Bodies of the killed were thrown in the mass grave Lanište II. Killing continued on 26 June 1992 in the settlements of Krasulje and Ramići, where 21 Bosniac were killed, and around 90 were detained and then taken to the camp Manjača.
Continuing with the genocidal politics and practice, the Serb forces killed on 10 July over 200 Bosniacs in the village of Biljani, including babies. “They killed 240 people (...), in various places. They apprehended around hundred people for apprehension to the school in Biljani. They said they took them for interrogation. Then, they brought two buses, forced them inside, claiming that they were taking them to the camp. But, they did not take them to camp. Instead, they were taking them out in groups of 5-6 and immediately killed behind the house. They took 30 elderly people out, telling them that they would go mosque for the prayer, given that it was Friday. People started. They did not let them come to the mosque, and they took them behind the stable and shot them dead. There were older than 80 years of age among them. Whoever was taken in the village of Ćehići and Osmanović, was stopped here on my property and killed. One hundred people was killed behind by stable, and around 20 below my house, and additional 20 in the direction of the school, so that they killed in total 140 people“.
For the purpose of complete persecution of Bosniacs from the territory of Ključ municipality, on 27 May 1992, the Serb Crisis staff established Agency for the admission and transfer of population from one region to another. They adopted criteria for the departure from the territory of the municipality Ključ. Almost all the Bosniacs were expelled from the Ključ municipality. Ten mass graves have been exhumed in the territory of Ključ municipality, as well as several dozens of joint and individual. The Ključ residents were killed and thrown to pits, dozens of meters deep.
Mortal remains of killed women, children, and the elderly were found in mass graves. A large number of the killed people were found in mass and individual graves, in almost all the places where Bosniacs lived. The characteristic of crimes committed in Ključ is reflected in the attempts to conceal the traces and clues of crimes by throwing the bodies to pits. Thus, the criminal covered up completely the mass grave Lanište I, with soil and garbage, and the pit was several dozens deep.
Killing and throwing of the bodies to mass graves was carried out irrespective of their age. The killed Bosniacs were between one and 90 years of age. The average age of the killed and identified was 43.1 years of age. These records suggest that the principal objective of criminal was killing of Bosniacs in their most productive age – their physical, psychological and reproductive period of life.
Serb forces killed men, women, children, and the elderly in the territory of Ključ municipality. As for the ration of killed men and women, there were far more men killed. There were 93% men and 7% women killed. The survey also suggests the ratio of the exhumed and the number of identified people, per grave, the average age of victims and their gender. This survey suggests a conclusion that the objective of massive crimes was to kill as many Bosniacs as possible, irrespective of their age or gender. The final objective of killing was the destruction and persecution of Bosniacs, for the purpose of achievement the ethnically clean territory. It was pursued by all means and methods, in line with the declared great Serbian plans to establish ethnically clean Serb state.
More than 700 men were killed in Ključ. The Ključ residents were also killed in other places, and they were exhumed in eight other towns.
The biggest graves were Lanište I with 188 victims, Lanište II with 77 victims, Prhovo with 38 victims.
Specially monstrous was the murder of 188 civilians in the village of Biljani, including babies of nine months, who were later on found in a natural pit Lanište, the murder of around 130 people in the village of Velagići, of whom the majority were killed in the local school, and the murder of 36 civilians in the village of Prhovo, of whom 50% were women.
The killed Ključ residents were found in seven natural pits. These pits are: Lanište and Old railways in Ključ, Golubnjača in Drvar, Wells in Ribnik, Tihotina in Bihać, Hrastova glavica in Sanski Most, and Ravnice in Bosanski Petrovac.
There were 48 victims in the graves with the family name Botonjić. Thousands of Ključ residents were in the camps. There were only 1,161 Ključ resident in the Manjača camp, and it is believed that around 200 other Ključ residents were in other camps.
Of 600 exhumed Ključ victims, 47 were women and 20 were children. Among these 600, there were also 112 older than 60. Of this number, 77 were in the age group 60-70, there were 21 in the age group 70-80, and 8 victims were in the age group 80-90, and three victims were older than 90 years of age.
The youngest exhumed girl was Amila Džaferagić, born in 1992 and killed in 1992 (9 months old) and her brother Almir, 4 years old, while the oldest victim was Ramiza Ađemović, born in 1913 and killed in 1992. Brothers Denis (five years old) and Muris (ten years old) Bećirović were also among the youngest victims.
Nine women, older than 60, were exhumed. Among 20 exhumed minors, there were seven victims younger than 10.
There were 540 bodies exhumed in the territory of the Ključ municipality.