Croatian parliament and government delegations, headed by Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner and First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko, laid wreaths at the monument in Tezno, Slovenia on Saturday commemorating Croatian soldiers and civilians killed there in the aftermath of the Second World War.
A wreath-laying ceremony and a prayer service were also held at the Dobrava cemetery outside Maribor.
Joint wreaths from the President of the Republic, the Speaker of Parliament and the Prime Minister were laid in Dobrova and in the Bleiburg field in Austria by Reiner, Karamarko and presidential envoy Bruna Esih, the government said on its Twitter account.
The Bleiburg commemoration is organised by the Bleiburg Guard of Honour under the patronage of the Croatian Parliament and co-patronage of the Croatian People's Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event is co-organised by the bishops' conferences of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mass was said by the Bishop of Banja Luka and Chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Bishops' Conference, Franjo Komarica, while a prayer service for the victims of the Islamic faith was led by Idriz Besic, head of the Islamic community in Gunja, eastern Croatia.
The ceremonies commemorated executions of Croatian soldiers and civilians who surrendered to British forces in Austria in May 1945, but were handed over to the Yugoslav Partisans. Some of them were killed in the Bleiburg field, while many perished during death marches, known as Ways of the Cross, during their repatriation to Yugoslavia. The exact number of Croatian soldiers and civilians killed has never been established and research carried out to date puts their number at at least 50,000.
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