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Officials find mass grave in Rwanda linked to 1994 genocide

Machetes and bullets are seen in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on July 26, 1994, during the mass Tutsi genocide. File Photo by John Isaac/United Nations
Machetes and bullets are seen in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on July 26, 1994, during the mass Tutsi genocide. File Photo by John Isaac/United Nations

April 6 (UPI) -- Rwandan authorities say they have uncovered what is believed to be a mass grave that contains perhaps the remains of 30,000 people killed during the infamous 1994 genocide.

Officials said the remains were exhumed in the Kayonza District Eastern Province at a man-made pond. An officer with genocide survivor organization IBUKA said more than 50 bodies have already been found.

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One official said information reported last summer led them to start searching in the area, and that tens of thousands of bodies may be there.

"But because of the terrain we have been failing to exhume the remains until we managed to drain the pond," they said.

Authorities said they expect it will take several months to uncover all the remains at the site.

Rwanda's National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide says more than 118,000 victims were found between 2018 and 2019. About 1 million people, mostly members of the minority Tutsi, were killed in the 1994 genocide. Rwanda officials exhumed 141 bodies in January at an airstrip in Rubavu.

The majority Hutus began the killings after Tutsi rebels were accused of shooting down a plane that killed Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana exactly 26 years ago, on April 6, 1994.

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