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Mass Graves Found in Afghanistan
Wednesday, 9-Oct-2002

KABUL, Oct 9 (AP) — Authorities in northern Afghanistan said Wednesday they have discovered several mass graves containing the corpses of hundreds of people allegedly massacred by the former Taliban regime.

One mass grave in the district of Chamatal, about 24 miles west of the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, contained 350 bodies, said Mohammad Sardar Sayedi, spokesman for the main ethnic Hazara group, Hezb-e-Wahadat.

All the dead were ethnic Hazaras — among them women and children likely killed in 1998 when Mazar-e-Sharif fell in heavy fighting to the Taliban, Sayedi said.

Local residents reported the grave sites to authorities, who investigated and found them full of bones, Sayedi said by telephone from Mazar-e-Sharif.

We've found lots of mass graves around Mazar-e-Sharif since the Taliban government fell last year, Sayedi said.  People come to us and point out the graves. They say they were afraid to tell anyone these things while the Taliban were in power.

Sayedi said at least two other mass graves were found in the nearby district of Qart-e-Zarhat. He gave no details about them, however.

Hazara leaders claim their group, about 10 percent of Afghanistans population, suffered the worst atrocities at the hands of the Taliban. They claim as many as 15,000 Hazara were killed in a religiously motivated slaughter in Mazar-e-Sharif and other parts of Afghanistan.

The Hazara are Shiites, which the mostly Sunni Taliban considered a flawed branch of Islam.

International human rights groups have also cited accusations of atrocities by anti-Taliban forces, including the alleged executions of as many as 2,000 Taliban in 1997 in Mazar-e-Sharif.

The U.S.-based Physicians for Human Rights have asked the United Nations to guard three graves in Mazar-e-Sharif where the bodies of hundreds of Taliban prisoners were allegedly dumped last year by forces loyal to warlord Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum.

Meanwhile, the U.N. investigator into illegal executions is due to visit Afghanistan later this month, the U.N. human rights office said Wednesday.

Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani lawyer, will visit Afghanistan Oct. 13-23 and will report back to the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

I will endeavor to meet with all relevant parties and interlocutors, in order to make a balanced and independent assessment, said Jahangir, whose mandate covers extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions.

She will meet government officials in Kabul before traveling to a number of other cities and towns, a U.N. statement said.


Mass graves found in Afghanistan
Sunday, 7 April, 2002, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK

Three mass graves have been found in the central Afghan region of Bamiyan, a UN spokesman has said.

The graves are situated near the airport of the provincial capital of Bamiyan, about 125 kilometres (80 miles) north-west of Kabul.

The UN has been told the graves are thought to contain bodies of members of the local Hazara community killed before the fall of the Taliban late last year, spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said.

"We do not yet know the number of bodies or when they were buried. These graves were unknown until now," he said.

He added that the area had been cordoned off, awaiting the arrival of a team including officials from the UN and the Afghan interior ministry.

While the Taliban were in power, they were accused several times of massacring Hazaras in the Bamiyan area in reprisal for earlier killings.

The graves are near the site of Buddhist statues destroyed by the Taliban last year, provoking international outrage.


  • PERSECUTION section of makes an effort to documents the following:
    • All Persecution data to date (partial as of now)
    • Religious decrees (Fitwas) issued against the Hazaras in 1890 by the fanatic Pushtun ruler of Afghanistan, Amir Abdur Rahman Khan; in 1990's by the Taliban and in 2000's by the Wahabi fanatics in Pakistan
    • Racial, Ethnic, and Religious  Discrimination of Hazaras all over the world



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