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The horrors of the Bosnian war began for most of the women in early June and July when Serbian forces started arresting young men in the area of Gacko.

Around 37 per cent of the region's 10,000 population was Muslim, although Muslims formed the middle classes and constituted a majority inside the town itself.

'He was the one who selected the five prettiest girls and took them away. Send me my dresses.' Later, Almasa sent another note saying she was now called by a Serbian name.' From time to time the women were moved to a schoolhouse next door but this in no way relieved the horrors of Kalinovik.

He took Almasa Jugo away in his own car, a red Golf. They could hear other women and men in the floor above them.

'The Chetniks would come in and demand money,' one anonymous victim remembered.

'They would take a four- or five-year old and force him on to a table and put a knife to his throat.

'They called us 'bitches' and one of them pointed at me,' said Ziba. I was terrified they were going to kill the children while I was in the hotel. He said if I didn't do what they wanted, they would cut my throat. Their suffering was endured by thousands of other Muslim women in August and September of last year as Serbian forces 'ethnically cleansed' the Muslim villages of eastern and western Bosnia.As word of the killings spread to the nearby villages of Basici, Drugovici and Bahori, thousands of Muslim men and women fled in terror to the forests of the Zelengora mountains to the north.Many were rounded up - the men separated from the women and never seen again - the women put on buses, threatened with knives but sent on to the Kosovo capital, Pristina, and then to the Macedonian capital, Skopje, where the local authorities freed them and sent them to Muslim-held Bosnia via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.Several four and five-year olds were held to a table while knives were placed at their throats in an effort to persuade their mothers to part with jewellery and money.Emira's elder boy, Hasan, trembles whenever his mother talks of the camp.

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