Research on Bamyan mass grave discovery launched
BAMYAN CITY (Pajhwok): Some national and international forensic institutes have launched their investigation into a mass grave discovered in 2008 in central Bamyan province to identify the remains, officials said on Sunday.
The grave was discovered in Essa Khan Desert on the outskirts of Bamyan city, the provincial capital, in 2008.
Afghanistan Forensic Science Organisation (AFSO), which works to identify, record and protect such mass graves, has recently launched its research to identify bodies of the dead in the mass grave.
Mohammad Ashraf Bakhtyari, AFSO head, told Pajhwok Afghan News the collective grave surfaced after the land owner started digging in the area. With permission from a religious scholar, the land owner shifted the bones elsewhere.
“The land owner without knowing how to exhume the dead bodies created so many problems for us in our research and identification of the bodies,” Bakhtyari said.
He said two different stories were told about the mass grave ---one was that a Mujahideen commander, Syed Lam Lam, and his 16 fighters were buried in the grave after being killed Dr. Najib’s government forces.
But the second story said following Dr. Najib’s forces defeat by anti-communist fighters, the Mujahideen killed 16 remaining soldiers of the government and then buried them all together in the area, he added.
However, Bakhtyari said:“The number of corpses will be specified in our research that how long ago they were buried and after identification they will be handed over to their families to bury them again with respect.”
He said with support from local administration of Bamyan, the research was launched on four bodies and was underway on the rest.
Besides the grave research, AFSO also started a workshop on osteology and bodies’ study for prosecutors and employees of judicial institutes.
Stephan, one of the foreign teachers in the programme, told Pajhwok:“We in this workshop teach participants on how to separate male and female bones in such collective graves and we also practically show them this with artificial bones.”
He said the Essa Khan Desert’s collective grave corpses and bones would also be placed before the workshop participants for information and to learn about the research on bones.
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