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22 bodies found in Iraq mass grave

The remains were found in a mass grave south of this city dating back apparently to the 1991 Shiite uprising.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2006 12:39 IST

The remains of 22 bodies were found on Tuesday in a mass grave south of this city dating back apparently to the 1991 Shiite uprising against Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces, police said.

Police officer Ali Abdul Hussein said the bodies were found in Kifil, about 30 kilometres south of Najaf, by labourers using a bulldozer to excavate earth near a water pipeline.

Local residents identified several of the bodies by their identity documents, telling police that they were people who went missing during the Shiite uprising against Saddam's forces following the US-led 1991 Gulf War in neighbouring Kuwait.

Hussein said the bodies included remains of young children and women. The remains were left in the grave and are expected to undergo medical testing to try to determine exact causes of death.

Human rights organizations estimate that more than 300,000 people, mainly Kurds and Shiite Muslims, were killed and buried in mass graves during Saddam's reign, which ended when US-led forces toppled his regime in 2003.

First Published: Jan 18, 2006 02:24 IST