- Škabrnja massacre
Škabrnja massacre ( _hr. Masakr u Škabrnji) was a
war crime[ [http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2007/pr1162e.htm Summary of judgement: the case of Milan Martić] ] , atrocities committed by Serb forces during the Croatian War of Independence. On November 18, 1991, Serbparamilitaries, supported by the JNA, captured the village of Škabrnja(also: "Škabrnje") and killed 25 Prisoners of war and 61 civilians over the next several days. [ [http://arhiv.slobodnadalmacija.hr/20031119/novosti02.asp hr icon Slobodna Dalmacija news article on commemoration] ]
Before the massacre
According to the
censusof 1991, Škabrnja (near Zadar) was inhabited by 1,953 people in 397 households, the vast majority were Croats, no Serbswere recorded to live in the settlement. When the Croatian Serbs rebelled during the Croatian War of Independence, aiming to form Republic of Serbian Krajina, Škabrnja found itself surrounded by Serb-inhabited villages.
Croatian Armyforces had been formed by villagers since October, the larger and more numerous Yugoslav People's Armyand paramilitaryforces approached them. On November 18, the Serbian forces fired mortars on Škabrnja [ [http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2007/pr1162e-summary.htm Sentence judgement: the case of Milan Martić] ] , and soon invaded it with armored vehicles and tanks. They destroyed one APC and one tank, but the entire JNA battalionof thirty motorized units assaulted from two directions (one from Zemunik Gornji in the northwest and another from Biljane in the southeast) and soon overran the defenders.
The Serbian paramilitaries entered the hamlet of
Ambarand all prisoners, and then proceeded to the center of Škabrnja where they committed more acts of murder and taking some civilians as prisoners. In that one day, 43 civilians and 15 Croatian soldiers were killed, and numerous houses were destroyed.
Over the next couple of days, the murder count rose to 86, and much of the village was burnt and
demolished. One group of 26 civilians was buried in a mass gravenear the center of the village.
Trials for the massacre
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslaviaindicted Milan Babićand Milan Martićfor these atrocities, naming 38 civilian victims in Škabrnja (in addition to others in surrounding villages and elsewhere).
In a local Croatian Court, 18 were sentenced in 1995 for the massacre. A re-trial seems possible. [ [http://www.jutarnji.hr/clanak/art-2007,5,7,skabrnja_sudjenje,73398.jl hr icon Jutarnji List: Škabrnja retrial possible] ]
* [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/HR/0/Skabrnje.html Geographical position of Škabrnja]
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