Some 300 Thousand Iraqis Believed to be Buried in Mass Graves - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/08/03 - Baghdad, Iraq

Some 300 Thousand Iraqis Believed to be Buried in Mass Graves

 There may be as many as 300 thousand bodies buried in more than 250 mass graves in Iraq.

That's the assessment of the top human rights official in the U.S.-led civilian administration in Iraq.

Sandy Hodgkinson told dozens of Iraqis at a workshop today that the graves must be found and protected as criminal evidence of the former regime, and to help ease the anxiety of their loved ones.

Hodgkinson says "truth and proper burial is the first step toward reconciliation."

Mass graves have been found throughout the country since Saddam Hussein was deposed in April. Most of the people in the mass graves are believed to be Kurds murdered in the 1980s, and Shiites killed after their 1991 uprising.

The arrival of international forensic teams has been delayed by continuing violence.

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