Mosque in Bosnia reopened after 23 years

General view of Ferhadija mosque during its opening ceremony in Banja Luka, May 7, 2016. Thousands flocked to the capital of Bosnia's Serb statelet on Saturday for the reopening of a historic mosque destroyed during wartime, a ceremony seen as encouraging religious tolerance among deeply divided communities. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

More than 10.000 people were present when a mosque in Bosnia reopened its doors for the first time in 23 years. The Ferhat Pasha mosque was one of the more than 500 mosques that were destroyed during the war in Bosnia.

The mosque, also known as Ferhadija, was originally built in Ottoman style in the 1500s. Between 1992 and 1995 the mosque, together with 534 other mosques in Bosnia, was blown up.

During an attempt in 2001 to lay down the first corner stone of the Ferhat Pasha Mosque, a Serbian nationalistic mob attacked the crowd, killing one person and leaving several injured. NATO forces intervened in time to evacuate foreign abassadors from the ceremony with helicopters. The reconstruction of the mosque is now, 15 years later, finished and includes more than 3.500 parts of the original structure of the old mosque.

23 years after its destruction, the Ferhat Pasha mosque reopens in front of a crowd of people including Turkeys Prime Minster Ahmet Davutoglu, Bosnian leaders, foreign ambassadors and representatives of different communities.

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today