Mass grave found in Afghanistan


13 April 2007

Sunday Times



KABUL - The bodies of nearly 400 Afghan civilians killed during the communist regime that ended in 1992 have been found in a mass grave in northeastern Afghanistan, officials said.


The grave was found by local farmers in a desert just outside Faizabad, the capital town of the remote Badakhshan province, deputy governor Shams-ul Rahman Shams told AFP.



"We’ve so far recovered the bodies of some 380 people. They were killed during the communist time," Shams said.


He said that most of the victims appeared to be civilians who had been killed for opposing the Moscow-backed communist regime.



The discovery comes months after the Afghan parliament passed a reconciliation law which grants amnesty to those behind the decades of atrocities during the communist regime.



President Hamid Karzai also signed the law but with amendments safeguarding the rights of individuals to seek justice for the crimes against them.







Mass grave found in northeast Afghanistan

Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:19AM EDT

Reuters Pictures


Qurban Ali Hamzi


FAIZABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - The bodies of hundreds of Afghan civilians killed during communist rule have been uncovered in a mass grave in northeastern Afghanistan, officials and witnesses said on Thursday.


The grave is in desert just outside the town of Faizabad, provincial capital of Badakhshan province, bordering China, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Bone fragments were found when residents began building new houses in the area recently.


"So far, we have dug out some 400 bodies," Sibghatullah Khaksari, the head of a local government agency that searches for and exhumes the victims of decades of conflict, told Reuters at the site, adding authorities feared there could be more bodies.


Some of the victims have been identified by relatives.


Among the victims discovered so far, were some women, but they were mostly men, including some elderly. Some were handcuffed and shackled.


Several dozen were tied up in a chain, some had bullet holes in their skull. Broken spectacles, a few artificial golden teeth, pens and watches were also found among the remains.


Authorities plan to rebury the remains at the site and erect a monument once the excavation is complete.





Mass grave found in Afghanist