9/13/2005

United Nations - Islamabad - Afghanistan mass graves

The remains of three individuals were recovered from a shallow grave and were subjected to an autopsy examination. The indications are that all died from gunshot wounds, mostly to the head and back. One body was found with its hands bound, indicating summary execution. Physical traits, clothing and artifacts on the bodies indicated that they were all male, of Hazara ethnicity and Shia religion, ranging in age from teenager to elderly.

Q: [Inaudible] Question on Mazar sites.
Spokesman: At the Mazar airport site, things are a little bit more complicated because the site is partially destroyed. It consists of a large trench in which bodies have been dumped. Since February, both the contents of the shallow grave and surface carcasses have been dumped into the trench by unknown persons. The result, according to the team, is a complication of the gravesite requiring a more complex investigation. They have photographed the site, drawn up details the site and recommended measures for its protection until further investigation can be undertaken.

The other site is Sheberghan which showed surface indications of the use of heavy machiney and indicated a large grave area of recent origin. The team detected sub-surface remains by probing, and then dug a small test pit. The remains of 15 bodies were encountered at a depth of 1.5 metres below the surface. They exhumed three bodies from those for autopsy; the bodies were all males, had Caucasoid features, were shoeless and shirtless, wore 'tumban' style pants, frilled waist ties and black turbans, consistent with Pashtun origin. Other observations at the site, the conditions of the bodies, absence of fly activity, indicated time of death within the past few month after the onset of last fall.

United Nations - Islamabad

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