First mosque rebuilt in Bosnian Serb entity since end of war opens

WARSAW, Aug 27, 2000 -- (AFP) The first mosque rebuilt in the Serb-run half of Bosnia since the end of the 1992-95 was officially opened Saturday.

Some 10,000 Muslim believers attended the opening in Kozarusa near Prijedor in the northwest, the site of some of the war worst atrocities against Muslims during the conflict.

The concentration camps of Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje were in the Prijedor area, were it is believed that thousands of Muslims were executed.

Many religious sites were destroyed during the war, including 170 mosques, according to the Islamic Religious Community (IVZ).

Prijedor's Serb mayor Nada Sevo objected to the reconstruction of the mosque, stressing in a statement that "the required authorization had not been granted".

Rebuilding the mosque cost DEM 120,000 (EUR 61,350, USD 55,340), mainly gathered by Muslim returnees in the Prijedor area who live in tents, waiting for their houses to be rebuilt.

A Bosnian refugee association from Sarajevo said recently that some 28,000 refugees in Bosnia live under canvas hoping their houses will be repaired before the bitter Balkan winter.

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