Commemorative events, including placing of flowers and lighting of candles, were held at Ovcara outside Vukovar on Friday in memory of the murder of 200 wounded Croatian soldiers and civilians who were executed by Serb rebels and paramilitaries on 20 November 1991, a day after they had been taken from the local hospital, when that eastern Croatian town fell into the hands of Serb insurgents and the then Yugoslav People's Army.
During today's commemoration at Ovcara, which used to be a pig farm before the war, the names of 200 victims killed at Ovcara were read out and prayers were said by the Vukovar parish priest, Friar Ivica Jagodic.
The youngest victim executed at Ovcara was 16-year-old Igor Katic and the oldest was a 77-year-old man. At least 261 patients had been taken from the Vukovar hosipital, and 200 of them were exhumed at Ovcara in 1996. The other victims are still recorded as missing.
On Friday morning, residents of Vukovar and local associations of war veterans and their families held a commemoration on the premises of the Velepromet storage facility, a short-lived concentration camp set up by the JNA and Serbian paramilitary forces during the siege of Vukovar.
Approximately 10,000 people were detained in the Velepromet buildings from late 1991 to March 1992 when this camp was closed, according to statistics kept by former detainees' associations. Of those 10,000 detainees, some 700 were killed.
Vukovar was peacefully reintegrated into Croatia in January 1998. The peaceful reintegration began in January 1996 with the assistance of the UNTAES (UN Transitional Authority in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium). Croatia's parliament decided in 1999 that Vukovar Remembrance Day would be observed on November 18, the day of the town's fall.