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Mass grave found in Balkh

Mass grave found in Balkh

Feb 11, 2012 - 19:10

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): A mass grave, containing many corpses, was discovered west of Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, by road construction workers, a human rights official said on Saturday.

The number of skulls was unknown, but an official at the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission in the north, Farid Muttaqi, said the grave might contained at least 20 bodies. He said their physiques, shoes and cloths showed the dead were civilians.

The construction workers had shifted the skeletons and bones from the original site, making the investigation process a bit difficult, Muttaqi said. He asked the government to take measures at preserving such graves.

Witnesses said the grave was found during the construction of a canal along the road and the remains were shifted to another place so the construction work could continue.

A worker, Mohammad Karim, said the grave was uncovered when they started digging the canal.

He said they shifted the skeletons to another place in order to continue the construction process.

Resident Saiful Rahman said it was an agriculture land in the past and there had been water reservoirs, which filled up with the passage of time and people started building shops and houses on the land.

He said the skeletons showed the grave did not belong to the Taliban regime.

Police spokesman, Sher Jan Durrani, said there had been a graveyard in the area in the past, a claim rejected by local officials.

Two months ago, a similar grave containing at least 10 human skulls was discovered in the Deh Dadi area of the province by construction workers digging the earth to build a car park in an army compound.