POLICE in Timor Leste have uncovered a mass grave of 52 people at the government palace in Dili, with initial examinations suggesting the bodies are not Timorese, an official said Tuesday.
Construction workers discovered the remains last week in a garden outside the beachfront government palace, which houses the office of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, and contacted police.
In 1975 Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony, starting a 24-year occupation in which an estimated 183,000 people were killed or starved to death.
But Timor Leste's Criminal Investigation Service Commander Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga said that while a preliminary examination suggested the bones could date back to 1975, they appeared too large to be Timorese.
"We look at the heads and they are very big and some bones are very long. In summary I think they are not Timorese," he said.
"Until now we've found 52 bodies, but only 11 bodies are complete," Gonzaga added, saying the way they were buried indicated homicide.
Gonzaga said police would wait for an expert from Australia, expected to arrive in July, before making further investigations.AFP
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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