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Skeletons in Russia's cupboard

world Updated: Oct 05, 2007 19:33 IST
Fred Weir

Construction workers cleaning out the cellar of an ancient building near Red Square got a nasty shock when they uncovered 34 skeletons of people thought to have been shot by the former Soviet secret police.

A rusty pistol was lying among the remains, found beneath a house on Nikolskaya Street, two minutes' walk from the Kremlin and a block away from the Lubyanka, the headquarters of Soviet and Russian secret services since 1918.

"The nature of the wounds and the positioning of the bodies suggest that the workers have found an execution chamber," Interfax quoted a police official as saying.