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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK
'Human remains' in Bamiyan graves
Hazara people
The Hazaras suffered more than most under Taleban rule
The UN says it has found human remains at the site of suspected mass graves in the Bamiyan area of central Afghanistan.


We are calling in international forensic experts

UN spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva
A joint UN-Afghan investigative team went to the area after local people said there were two mass graves there.

The team said it had examined two sites in Daudi village, one a well and the other a floodwater channel on the side of a hill, and had found human remains and some clothing.

The Taleban were known to have carried out several massacres of civilians in the area several months ago, which is largely inhabited by the Shia Hazara community.

The country's interim leader, Hamid Karzai, visited Bamiyan earlier this week and said the area had suffered more than any part of Afghanistan.

Wider survey

A UN spokesman, Manoel de Almeida e Silva, said they had managed to make out that at least four people were buried there.

A local resident shows bones of a Taleban victim
Many civilians were reported massacred

However, he said they were calling in forensic experts to carry out a more thorough examination of the sites, before reburying the remains in accordance with local wishes.

Mr Silva also said there were strong indications of other sites yet to be uncovered.

He said the UN wanted to carry out a broader investigation in the area.

The BBC's Kate Clark, who has travelled in the region, says that in most villages, people will point out graves they say contain the remains of relatives.

The Taleban - who are Sunni Muslims - were accused of massacring Hazaras in the Bamiyan area in reprisal for earlier killings by Shia forces fighting against them.

See also:

09 Apr 02 | South Asia
Karzai visits 'scorched' Bamiyan
07 Apr 02 | South Asia
Mass graves found in Afghanistan
13 Nov 01 | South Asia
Bamiyan destroyed by Taleban
11 Dec 01 | South Asia
Desperation in Bamiyan
24 Jan 02 | South Asia
Hazaras survive on aid
21 Feb 01 | South Asia
Taleban accuse rebels of massacre
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