borovo, godišnjica ubojstva 12 policajaca.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ ik

A commemoration was held in Borovo, eastern Croatia on Monday to mark the 25th anniversary of when 12 policemen were killed in an ambush in 1991, set up Serb rebels and paramilitaries.

Today's commemoration included wreath-laying ceremonies at which an appeal was sent once again to authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The death of these twelve policemen is a grief to all of us, but we must live on...mutual intolerance has grown. We are divided in our views...but we have to put our heads together and move ahead toward victory in order to create better lives, said retired general Mladen Markac, while addressing those gathered as President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's special envoy.

Markac underscored that the basis for a better life for Croatian citizens has to be the Homeland War and that the truth about it must not be kept silent but should be constantly spoken about.

Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said that "Greater Serbia policies in this place were geared by hate against freedom and life. That is the truth that needs to be known. Not for the sake of revenge but for peace and tolerance and justice so that those responsible for this crime are brought to justice," Orepic underscored.

The 12 members of the Vinkovci Police Department Special Unit were killed in the ambush after two of their colleagues had been taken prisoner by Serb paramilitaries during a regular patrol in Borovo in the night between 1 and 2 May 1991.

After negotiations on their release failed, a group of members of special police forces from Vinkovci were sent to Borovo on May 2. In a conflict with Serb paramilitaries that followed, 12 of them were killed and another 22 were wounded.

The policemen who were killed were Stjepan Bosnjak (born in 1955), Antun Grbavac (1961), Josip Culej (1966), Mladen Saric (1965), Zdenko Perica (1965), Zoran Grasic (1969), Ivica Vucic (1961), Luka Crnkovic (1970), Marinko Petrusic (1966), Janko Covic (1965), Zeljko Hrala (1968) and Mladen Catic (1971).

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