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Bosnia floods uncover human remains 'of war dead'

Last week's record flooding in Bosnia has uncovered human remains which are believed to belong to people who disappeared during the country's 1992-95 war.

Bosnia's Institute for Missing Persons said teams fixing power lines discovered the remains in Usora, near the northern town of Doboj, after the flood had washed away part of the river bank.

man navigates a boat along a street during heavy floods in Bosnia last week. Credit: Reuters

Spokeswoman Lejla Cengic said the institute is hoping the remains belong to some of the 30,000 people who went missing during the Yugoslav wars.

One third of them have been found in mass graves, mostly in Bosnia, but authorities continue to search for the thousands who are still believed to be hidden.

Serbian authorities clear towns as river swells

A woman reacts as she walks near a house tilted by floods in the village of Krupanj, west from Belgrade. Credit: Reuters\Marko Djurica

Serbian emergency services have cleared 12 towns and villages along the banks of the raging Sava river, including one where soldiers, police and volunteers have been working around the clock to protect the country's main power plant, Reuters has reported.

Entire towns and villages are underwater, thousands of hills have crumpled into landslides and tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes.


Balkan floods trigger thousands of landslides

Floodwaters triggered more than 2,000 landslides across much of the Balkans, laying waste to entire towns and villages and disturbing land mines left over from the region's 1990s war.

A man walks through flood water in the town of Obrenovac in Serbia Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

The Balkans' worst flooding since record-keeping began forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and threatened to inundate Serbia's main power plant, which supplies electricity to a third of the country and most of the capital, Belgrade.

Authorities organised a frenzied helicopter airlift to get terrified families to safety before the water swallowed up their homes. Many were plucked from rooftops.

Russia joins international flood relief effort for Balkans

Russian cargo planes carrying boats, generators and food have joined rescue teams from around Europe and thousands of local volunteers to evacuate people and build flood defences after the River Sava in Serbia burst its banks following days of torrential rain.

People receive food from Serbian army soldiers in the flooded town of Obrenovac, south west of Belgrade Credit: REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Flood waters receded on Sunday in some of the worst-hit areas of Serbia and Bosnia, but the Sava was forecast to rise further after thousands of people were displaced by rising waters.

An aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje in Bosnia Credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Flooding has already cut Serbian power generation by 40 per cent, forcing the cash-strapped country to boost imports.

Serbians scramble to protect power plants from floods

Soldiers, police and villagers have battled to protect power plants in Serbia from rising flood waters as the death toll from the Balkan region's worst rainfall in more than a century reached 37.

An aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje in Bosnia, which has also been affected by heavy flooding Credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Twelve bodies were recovered from the worst-hit Serbian town of Obrenovac, which lies 18 miles south west of the capital, Belgrade, but the number was likely to rise as waters receded.

An aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje in Bosnia Credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic admitted to reporters the situation is "catastrophic".

Balkans: 20 die in 'worst floods for 120 years'

The worst flooding since records began has killed at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade. Credit: Reuters\Marko Djurica

The flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago, according to meteorologists, who said it is due to the region getting three months of rain in just three days.

Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in a boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade. Credit: Reuters\Marko Djurica


Baby airlifted to safety during deadly Balkan floods

Dramatic footage from Belgrade has shown a mother and baby being airlifted from a house after floods ravaged parts of Serbia and neighbouring Bosnia.

Thousands of people in the Balkans have been evacuated from their homes over the past few days as the region was hit by the heaviest rainfall since measuring started 120 years ago.

The Associated Press news agency, which provided the video, reports that an estimated 20 people have died in Bosnia and Serbia as a result of the flooding.

Nationwide emergency measures were declared after rain-swollen rivers have flooded roads, cut off power and caused more than 200 landslides.

Hague hails Bosnia's anti-rape military training plans

William Hague has hailed Bosnia's decision to include prevention of sexual violence in military training.

Foreign Secretary William Hague addresses the conference in Bosnia's Sarajevo. Credit: RTV

The Foreign Secretary told a conference in Bosnia's capital Sarajevo that rape is a "cheap" and "devastatingly effective way to terrorise and displace a population".

Jolie calls Bosnia's anti-rape military training 'inspiring'

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie called Bosnia's decision to include prevention of sexual violence in military training "inspiring" and "groundbreaking".

Speaking at a conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, the UNHCR goodwill ambassador said the issue of war zone rape "has been a taboo subject in all countries".

UNHCR goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie speaks during a conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Credit: AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic

"You are helping to break down those taboos and [are] redefining soldiering in the 21st Century," she told the audience.

"There can be no peace in conflict or post-conflict zones while women are raped with impunity," the actress added.

Jolie and Hague meet Bosnia's presidency in Sarajevo

Actress Angelina Jolie, in her role as UNHCR goodwill ambassador, and Foreign Secretary William Hague met Bosnia's presidency to discuss the prevention of sexual violence in conflict.

Angelina Jolie waves to the crowds with Foreign Secretary William Hague in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Credit: AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic
UNHCR goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie sits for a meeting in Bosnia. Credit: AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic
Angelina Jolie with the chairman of the Bosnian presidency Bakir Izetbegovic and William Hague. Credit: AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic
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