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Iran-Iraq war remains exhumed

Feb. 16, 2012 at 10:08 AM   |   Comments

BAGHDAD, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- More than 150 bodies of those killed the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s have been exhumed, the Red Cross said.

Iraqi and Iranian officials, operating under the auspices of the International Red Cross, exhumed the remains of 178 Iranian and Iraqi soldiers killed during the war in the 1980s.

"The representatives of both countries reiterated their commitment to continue the search and to plan more such joint missions in the coming months," added Joana Durao, a representative from the ICRC in Iran. "They also agreed to have the remains of 21 Iranian soldiers repatriated before the end of February."

Iran, Iraq and the ICRC set up a process to identify those missing from the war. More than 2,500 missing people have been accounted for and the remains of 407 soldiers repatriated.

The latest mission was the second in three months in Iraq.

Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980 following Iran's revolution. The war, the longest conventional war in the 20th century, left hundreds of thousands dead on both sides.

Since the U.S.-led invasion, Iran and Iraq have moved closer diplomatically.

"The Iraqi authorities, including their Ministry of Human Rights, and the Iranian authorities worked together closely to locate and exhume the human remains," Dika Dulic, from the ICRC delegation in Iraq, said in a statement.

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