SARAJEVO: A grave with remains of dozens of Croats and Muslims killed in the early days of Bosnia's 1992-1995 war was uncovered in the country's northwest, officials said on Friday.

The grave is estimated to be one of the largest discovered in the past decade in the region of Prijedor, some 300 kilometres (200 miles) northwest of Sarajevo, the Bosnian prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The exact "number and identity" of the victims would be established during the exhumation and forensic procedures, it added. First estimates showed that "several dozen victims" were buried in a grave, hidden under artificial embankments in the village of Tomasica.

Initial excavations unearthed a "several-metre-thick layer composed of human remains," the statement said.

Victims were believed to be Muslims and Croats from the Prijedor area killed in the summer of 1992, when Bosnian Serb forces had taken control of the region.

Paramilitary units and the Bosnian Serb army expelled the non-Serb population, destroyed their homes and separated families while forcing thousands into detention camps where many were tortured and later executed.

Pictures of emaciated inmates at one of the detention camps, Omarska, resembling images from the Holocaust, shocked the world in the summer of 1992.

More than 3,300 people were reported missing from the Prijedor area.

So far the remains of more than 2,000 victims have been found and identified, mostly by DNA analysis.

The UN tribunal in The Hague has sentenced six Bosnian Serbs for war crimes committed in the Prijedor area to up to 40 years in jail.

And the Bosnian war crimes court, set up in 2005 to ease the caseload of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, sentenced seven Bosnian Serbs to up to 20 years in jail.

Some 100,000 people were killed while two million fled their homes during the war in Bosnia, a former Yugoslav republic that currently has a population of 3.8 million.