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PAN, April 15, 2013

Soviet-era mass graves found in Samangan

He told Pajhwok Afghan News most of the skulls had their eyes blindfolded with handkerchiefs

By Mohammad Barat

Two mass graves probably dating back to purges under the Soviet-backed communist regime in the 1980s were found in northern Samangan province, residents and officials said on Monday.

Believed to hold the remains of 30 people, the discovery in Tapa Aaq Mazar on eastern outskirts of Aibak, the provincial capital, was first reported by a resident who found human remains in his fields while digging soil near his home.

The person informed police who recovered 20 skeletons from one grave and 10 from the second, said deputy police chief Col. Musdiqullah Muzhari. He told Pajhwok Afghan News most of the skulls had their eyes blindfolded with handkerchiefs.


Human skeletons and items of clothing are seen in a mass grave uncovered in northern Balkh Province
Human skeletons and items of clothing are seen in a mass grave uncovered in northern Balkh Province in January 2012. Construction workers digging a car park found at least 10 human skulls. (Photo: Reuters)

A Pajhwok reporter at the site said he saw caps, turbans, coats, shawls for males and clothing in the graves.

Residents who recognised some corpses buried them again in the area. “I recognised my brother from his paint and shawl that I had sewn for him,” an old woman told Pajhwok Afghan News while crying. She said her brother was sent to jail in 1985 but later he disappeared from the prison.

Another resident Mullah Asadullah said he was jailed by the then communist regime in the 1980s. "Officials during the Soviet-era would come to the prison and would take away prisoners in groups from the jail, all were killed later," he said.

Mohammad Daud, who lives in a nearby Karwan Sarai area, said his mother recognised the body of his brother from his jacket. He said his brother was with the Mujahiddin, but had gone disappeared during the Soviet occupation.

Category: HR Violations - Views: 6220