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July 10, 2011 / AFP, Iraq, Shanafiyah / DC.
Some of the 222 human remains, believed to be those of Kurds found in a mass grave, are marked with red flags, some 70km from Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad - AFP.
The remains of 222 people, probably Kurds killed under Iraq's former regime in 1987, were extracted from a mass grave south of Baghdad, the authorities said on Sunday.
"We have found 222 bodies and we have transferred them to the morgue in the province of Najaf," said Karim Ziad, the official in charge of mass graves at the Department of Human Rights.
Iraqi authorities announced on Wednesday they had discovered another mass grave with 900 corpses in the Shanafiyah region near the city of Diwaniyah.
Ziad said several factors suggested that the victims, most with bullet wounds, were Kurds killed during the regime of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.
"The mass graves are made up of six trenches, and we have done (work) on only three of them," he said, suggesting the number of victims could be much higher.
Dakhil Saihoud, provincial head of the Justice and Accountability Commission which investigates issues relating to the former regime, said he was informed there were 17 trenches at the site.
"It is possible there are hundreds of bodies in there," he said.
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