Kurdish mass grave with 900 corpses found
Southern Iraq, — Iraqi authorities uncovered a
mass grave with 900 corpses near the central city of
Diwaniyah on Wednesday, believed to be Kurds killed
during the rule of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein,
an official said.
The corpses were found in the Shanafiya region, 70
kilometres (45 miles) west of Diwaniyah.
"The corpses were buried in a trench. There were 900
bodies," said Dakhil Saihoud, provincial head of the
Justice and Accountability Commission which
investigates issues related to Saddam's regime.
"Initial indications show the remains are those of
Kurds. They were transferred to laboratories in the
city of Najaf to help in identification," Saihoud
said. He said the corpses apparently dated back to
A man excavates a newly-discovered mass grave in the
desert of western Anbar province in Iraq April 14,
2011. The mass grave holding the remains of over 800
bodies, many believed to be opponents of ousted
leader Saddam Hussein, was discovered in western
Iraq, Photo: Reuters
Last April, authorities said they had found another
mass grave in Anbar province of western Iraq
containing the bodies of more than 800 people,
including women and children, executed during
During Iraq's 1980-1988 war with Iran, deserters
were executed and the Sunni Arab dictator
intensified a crackdown on Shiites suspected of
sympathising with Iraq's predominantly Shiite
Kurds were persecuted because they were the main
opposition to Saddam.
The number of people missing as a result of
atrocities committed by Saddam, who came to power in
1979, is estimated at anywhere between 300,000 and
to various sources.
Human rights groups believe there are hundreds of
mass graves in Iraq of people killed during Saddam's
Shortly after the 2003 invasion, the US-led
coalition said there were 263 mass reported graves
of people executed in Iraq under Saddam, including
40 containing evidence of systematic killings.
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