Forensic experts say they have discovered hundreds of bodies of people killed by Serb forces during the war in Bosnia during the mid 1990s. This is the largest mass grave discovered from the three-year war.
The experts have still not reached the bottom of the 40 x 5 meter pit in a hilly and wooded area near the town of Zvornik.
Carefully working through the muddy clay soil, forensic experts unearthed about 360 complete bodies with their hands tied, and they expect to find about 100 more.
Officials of the Bosnian commission for missing people say the dead were Muslim civilians, mostly from Zvornik, believed to have been killed by Bosnian Serb forces. Officials say some may have been victims of another wartime atrocity, the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, where up to 8,000 Muslims were killed.
One place in the mass grave has been dubbed the sad corner as it is said to contain nearly a dozen skeletons of children between 18 months and 12-years-old. They were found alongside women who are believed to have been their mothers.
Among other discoveries are the bullet-scarred skull of an eight-year-old child, and another child's skeleton with a bullet lodged in its spine.
Documents retrieved at the site, called Crni Vrh or Black Peak, show the victims were Muslims who went missing when Bosnian Serb forces, the former Yugoslav army and Serbian irregulars, overran several eastern Bosnian towns.
Investigators at the site say the bodies were moved to the grave from other smaller ones after the fighting, in an effort to cover up the killings. Experts believe there could be several more mass graves within a few kilometers of the site.
These are only some of the estimated 200,000 people who died in the Bosnian war, Europe's bloodiest conflict since World War II. During that period, well-armed Serb forces fought initially against allied Croats and Muslims, who later also fought each other.
Revelations about the mass grave come about a week after the United Nations war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said she expected the fugitive Bosnian Serb wartime leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic to be arrested later this year.
Ms. Del Ponte and other investigators believe the two men played key roles in the Srebrenica massacre.