By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Bosnians gathered on Monday to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the 1994 Markale massacre, which took the lives of 68 people and injured nearly 150.
The Markale marketplace shelling was one of the biggest massacres committed during the siege of Sarajevo between April 1992 and December 1995.
During the gathering, a crowd including family members of the victims as well as survivors paid tribute, laid wreaths, and prayed for the dead.
The ceremony was also attended by Sarajevo Canton Prime Minister Elmedin Konakovic, Bosnian Veterans Affairs Minister Salko Bukvarevic, and other officials.
Bukvarevic stressed that during the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina and its people faced the threat of extermination.
"Those who wanted to destroy our country could not reach their goals, but thousands of our citizens, our children were killed," said Bukvarevic.
Hasan Banda, who was injured in the attack while shopping for his children, said future generations should be told what happened here.
"Suddenly there was an explosion. Human parts were scattered all over the market," he remembered.
Vahida Tvico, a witness to the massacre, said that the market was very crowded that day and that after the explosion, everything looked red.
On Aug. 28, 1995, a second mortar exploded in the main market square, killing 43 people and wounding 75.
The shellings are among the crimes former Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of during his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
The UN court in The Hague also sentenced former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic to life in prison for his part in spreading terror among civilians in the capital Sarajevo and in other parts of Bosnia, in an attempt to clear non-Serbs from certain territories, including the Markale massacres.
He was also found to have had "significant responsibility" for the 1995 genocide of over 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.
For the Markale massacre, the court also sentenced Dragoslav Milosevic, commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska, to 29 years in prison, among other charges.