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To find ‘peace and closure,’ a grim search for Srebrenica massacre victims

It has been 20 years since Bosnian Serb forces attacked the town of Srebrenica, just months before the end of the Bosnian War in 1995. For sixteen years, one man who escaped Srebrenica massacre been on the search for his lost brother and father. NewsHour’s Stephen Fee reports.

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  • STEPHEN FEE:

    Most days, Ramiz Nukic trudges through the lush forests surrounding Srebrenica, searching for the remains of those killed two decades ago. He's not a government official or a humanitarian worker. Just a survivor.

  • RAMIZ NUKIC:

    "There is no place I don't check. And if I find one bone, then I'm happy. Sometimes I feel sorry when I don't find anything, and I'm happy when I find it. Someone's family will find peace and closure with that bone."

  • STEPHEN FEE:

    It's a grim recovery operation. And for Nukic, it's personal. After Bosnian Serb forces closed on Srebrenica, he and thousands of other Bosnian Muslims escaped to these woods. But an ambush killed both his father and eldest brother. Nukic hid in the bushes until the massacre was over.

  • RAMIZ NUKIC:

    "When I collected the courage to come up there again, when I went there, I saw scattered shoes, clothes. The chills went through my body. I was speechless. Numb."

  • STEPHEN FEE:

    Nukic's efforts have led officials to identify nearly 300 Srebrenica victims. Since the war's end, seven thousand bodies have been identified, a thousand still missing.

  • STEPHEN FEE:

    It wasn't until this year that the remains of Nukic's father and brother were discovered –by someone else — in a mass grave nearby. He plans to bury his father today.

  • RAMIZ NUKIC:

    "And I'm happy. Even though his body is not complete, I will bury him, what bones were left of him, and the rest? Only God knows."

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