Trepca is a huge mining and industrial complex in northern Kosovo, just outside the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica. Soon after the war, news reports cited refugees who said Serbian forces dumped hundreds of Albanian corpses down Trepca's labyrinth of mine shafts. War crimes investigators searched the mines but found nothing. According to Serbian sources we spoke to for this report, the investigators looked in the wrong place.
Milan served in a secret police unit ordered to collect bodies of Albanians from gravesites and truck them to Trepca. "Trepca is one of the biggest mining complexes in Europe," he said. "It had all sorts of processing plants and furnaces." In all likelihood, this is where the bodies from Izbica ended up, incinerated in the blast furnace of Trepca's lead refinery. "I was told that it was enough heat to destroy everything, every trace of the stuff they call DNA. I didn't even know what DNA was."
Another Serbian fighter we interviewed, Branko, also was in a special police unit tasked with destroying evidence. As a driver, Branko said he made more than a dozen trips to Trepca delivering truckloads of corpses.
"The blast furnace was high up, maybe 15 meters high or more," he said. "As I recall, only one of the furnaces was operating. But there were one or two others. They burned at extremely high heat. And that's where the bodies got destroyed."
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