After Mass Grave Found in Sri Lanka, Fears of More

Four more bodies found at 'layered' site
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2014 9:40 AM CST
After Mass Grave Found in Sri Lanka, Fears of More
In this Jan. 2, 2013, photo, an unearthed partial skeleton is seen at a mass grave found in a hospital construction site in Matale, about 65 miles north east of Colombo, Sri Lanka.   (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Four more skeletons were found yesterday when the second phase of excavation began on a mass grave that has put the uncounted victims of Sri Lanka's long civil war back in the headlines. So far 36 people's remains have been unearthed at the site, the ColomboPage reports, but there are still no clues as to how the bodies came to rest there. The find has fueled speculation that there may be many more graves like it, containing some of the thousands of people—most minority Tamils—still missing, Reuters reports.

"This grave has grown-up people and children, and there are some holes in the skulls believed to be from gunshots," one bishop who inspected the graves told Reuters. The police have cast suspicion on the Tamil Tigers rebel group, while the military has washed its hands of the area, saying control of it always swapped between the Tigers and Indian peacekeepers as well as the army. Road construction crews first stumbled on the 400-square-foot grave last month. "The bodies are buried in several layers," one official said, "Unfortunately the top layer of bodies has been destroyed by the road construction." (More mass graves stories.)

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