Iraqi forensic team working on the remains of a mass grave at the south of Iraq. Photo : Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraqi forensic teams in the southern province of Basra have found a mass grave containing 377 corpses apparently killed during the 1991 Shiite uprisings against Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, said Iraqi human rights officials Sunday.
A statement released by Mehdi Tamimi, an Iraqi government human rights officer, said that the mass grave was found in the east of Basra province. According to Tamimi, the grave is the second biggest mass grave ever found in southern Iraq.
“The first stage of exhuming bodies has been initiated. Bodies are mainly believed to be women and children,” Tamimi said, adding that the forensic teams need larger budgets for further excavations.
According to Tamimi, there are more than 40 mass graves in Basra province. He emphasized the importance of preserving graves in order for them to be documented properly.
A Shiite uprising in 1991 started following the Gulf War upheavals against Saddam Hussein’s rule in the country. After the failure of the uprisings, hundreds of Iraqi citizens were killed by the regime.