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UN team completes investigations into alleged mass graves in Afghanistan

UN team completes investigations into alleged mass graves in Afghanistan

A United Nations forensics team left Afghanistan today after completing an investigation into alleged mass graves at three sites around the country.

The mission this week to areas in Bamiyan and Mazar-i-Sharif completed their field investigations and returned on Sunday to Kabul, where they finalized the mission report and undertook a preliminary assessment of domestic forensic capacity before leaving the country early this morning, a spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.

The team's findings and recommendations will be finalized abroad, before being submitted to the UN for further consideration.

The mission, comprised of two forensics experts accompanied by UNAMA staff and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, examined three alleged mass gravesites in Daoudi village, Bamiyan, the Mazar-i-Sharif airport area and Sheberghan.

Team members documented the parameters and characteristics of the sites, exhumed and conducted forensics examinations on a number of bodies, collected material evidence and interviewed witnesses and community representatives. They also handed over some remains to local communities for burial and prepared sites for appropriate follow-up.

The team also collected information and prepared a list of other alleged mass gravesites in the country, the spokesman said.