Many years after that February day, when the indescribable silence following an explosion at a market in the center of Sarajevo, was broken by the screams of the injured, witnesses to the massacre are still haunted by images of the mosaic of human body parts, debris, and torn clothing…
It was on this day, 26 years ago, a mortar shell fell on Sarajevo’s most busy Markale market, killing 68 people and wounding 144 others. On that fateful Saturday afternoon, February 5th 1994, the 120 mm calibre mortar shell was fired by the Army of the Republic of Serbia from the villages in the area of Mrkovici.
As the busiest marketplace in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war, Markale market was a vitally important location for the supply of the city’s besieged population. During the siege, Markale had also become a meeting place for friends as well as a place to create new acquaintances and renew old ones.
Although the wish of the Army of Republic of Serbia was to kill innocent civilians, the people of Sarajevo’s desire for life and survival proved stronger. Nevertheless, the horror began at 12:15pm.
A relatively quiet day
Amongst the chaotic scene of intertwined bodies of wounded and dying citizens, broken stalls, strewn market produce, children’s toys and other things, he found himself alive, as he says, only by sheer luck which saved him from certain death or injury. “I was only a few meters from the massacre,” Samir Fazlagic recalls.
There, he says, he saw a sight that left him without words. That same image haunted him for many years in his thoughts and dreams.
“I remember a scene that left me speechless and which will be etched in my memory for a lifetime. There were bodies scattered all over the place; people were stopping cars, trucks, any means by which they could transport the bodies,” recalls Fazlić.
Day of Remembrance for the victims
After the end of war in BiH, February 5th was declared a Day of Remembrance for all those citizens who died in the period from 1992-1995 in Sarajevo.
On that day, 5th February 1994, the following innocent citizens were killed on Markale: Senad Arnautović, Ibrahim Babić, Mehmed Baručija, Ćamil Begić, Emir Begović, Vahida Bešić, Gordana Bogdanović, Vaskrsije Bojinović, Muhamed Borovina, Faruk Brkanić, Sakib Bulbul, Jelena Čavriz, Almasa Čehajić, Zlatko Čosić, Alija Čukojević, Verica Ćilimdžić, Smilja Delić, Ifet Drugovac, Dževad Durmo, Fatima Durmo, Kemal Džebo, Ismet Fazlić, Vejsil Ferhatbegović, Dževdet Fetahović, Muhamed Fetahović, Ahmed Fočo, Majda Ganović, Isma Gibović, Rasema Hasanović, Alija Hurko, Mirsada Ibrulj, Mustafa Imanić, Rasema Jažić, Razija Junuzović, Hasija Karavdić, Mladen Klačar, Marija Knežević, Selma Kovač, lbro Krajčin, Sejda Kunić, Jozo Kvesić, Numo Lakača, Ruža Malović, Jadranka Minić, Safer Musić, Nura Odžak, Mejra Orman, Hajrija Oručević, Seid Prozorac, Smajo Rahić, Igor Rehar, Rizvo Sabit, Zahida Sablja, Nedžad Salihović, Hajrija Smajić, Emina Srnja, Džemo Subašić, Šaćir Suljević, Hasib Šabanović, Ahmed Šehbajraktarević, Bejto Škrijelj, Junuz Švrakić, Pašaga Tihić, Munib Torlaković, Ruždija Trbić, Džemil Zečić, Muhamed Zubović and Senad Žunić.
Unfortunately, there are still the advocates for the revitalization of those crimes, those who are trying to deny the brutal killing of civil population on the Markale market.