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Kosovo: UN says no evidence of second alleged mass grave

Kosovo: UN says no evidence of second alleged mass grave

For the second time in less than a week, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) announced that an investigation into an alleged mass grave has turned up no evidence to support the claim.

The Mission said that a thorough assessment by the Office on Missing Persons and Forensics and the UNMIK Police Missing Persons Unit has determined that there is no mass grave near the "Balkan" factory in Suva Reka.

The team, led by a forensic archaeologist, dug nine test trenches in a rubbish dump behind the factory, most having a depth of more than three metres. "No evidence of human remains were found, and analysis of the soil layers indicated that the earth had never been significantly disturbed," the Mission said in a statement released in Pristina.

The office was acting on allegations made in August by Rada Trajkovic, a member of the Coordination Centre for Kosovo and Metohija. In statements made to Serbian media, she had claimed that a mass grave had been photographed and that pieces of clothing and other samples had been taken for analysis and identification of bodies. The office's assessment found that the site had not been disturbed, and there was no evidence of a previous investigation.

The office remains "ready to act upon new information about the existence of previously unknown graves, however its success depends on the quality of the information provided," UNMIK said.