Citizens and officials in Sarajevo gathered on Friday to mark 25 years since the second Markale massacre, when Bosnian Serb forces fired mortar shells which hit the crowded Markale market in downtown Sarajevo, killing 43 and injuring 84 people.
On August 28, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces fired mortars from Trebevic mountain and committed what is known as the second Markale massacre. The first Markale massacre took place in 1994 when a mortar shell killed 68 and wounded 144 people at the same spot.
Damir Malagic was 15 years old when he survived the shelling of Markale in 1995, but he lost two friends that day.
“I worked there, selling candles. Two of my friends, Adnan and Dario, arrived there and we greeted each other in the marketplace, I accompanied them to the door. They left, I stayed inside. Both of them were killed,” he remembered.
The Markale massacres are among the worst atrocities that were committed during the siege of Sarajevo which lasted 1425 days and still marks one of the longest sieges in the history of modern warfare.
Throughout those years, 11,541 Sarajevans, including 1601 children, were killed in the city.
Sarajevo was bombarded nearly constantly and about 329 shells fell on Sarajevo daily on average. The city also holds one of the saddest records in history – on July 22, 1993, a total of 3,777 shells were fired on Sarajevo.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has sentenced two high-ranking members of the Army of Republika Srpska for the crimes committed against residents of Sarajevo during the war. Stanislav Galic was sentenced to life in prison, while Dragomir Milosevic received a 29-year sentence.