British troops find boxes of human remains
British forces in southern Iraq said today that they had found boxes containing hundreds of human remains near Az Zubayr.india Updated: Apr 05, 2003 20:59 IST
British forces in southern Iraq said on Saturday they had found boxes containing hundreds of human remains in a warehouse near Az Zubayr.The estimated 200 coffin-sized boxes "contain bags, each labelled, and there's human remains inside the bags," the British news agency quoted Capt. Jack Kemp of the Royal Horse Artillery as saying.
Kemp said he believed the people had been dead for several years.
Lt. Col. Ronnie McCourt, a spokesman for British forces in Doha, Qatar, confirmed that British troops found "some bodies in an army barracks between Basra and Az Zubayr."
APTN video showed the boxes stacked five high on one side of the warehouse, and other boxes were lined up on the other side. The video showed one skull, which was missing front teeth and a large hole in the nasal area. A British soldier held up folders containing lists written in Arabic.
"I wouldn't like to speculate, but the bones inside are obviously years old," Kemp said.
"It is certainly not from the recent conflict but it could be from the one before," he said, apparently referring to the 1991 Gulf War.
Press Association reporter Vanessa Allen said British troops also discovered a catalogue of photographs of the dead. The photographs indicated that some had been shot in the head, she said.
After permitting some journalists to look around the warehouse, British forces sealed the facility, Allen reported.
"We have placed it out of bounds to all personnel and we will treat it as a mass grave," Kemp said.
First Published: Apr 05, 2003 19:07 IST