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Mass Graves Believed to Contain Kurds Found in Iraq - 2004-10-13


Investigators in northern Iraq have unearthed hundreds of bodies, many of them women and children, in a series of mass graves they believe date to the regime of former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Investigators say the nine trenches uncovered in the village of Hatra contain at least 300 bodies. The victims are believed to be Iraqi Kurds killed during Saddam's crackdown on the minority community in 1987 and 1988.

The site is being preserved as a crime scene, and evidence is being retained for a future trial charging the ousted leader with crimes against humanity.

Iraq's Human Rights Ministry has identified 40 possible mass grave sites across the country.

International organizations estimate that more than 300,000 people were killed during Saddam's 24-year rule.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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