Initial assessments suggest that the victims were interred during the Afghan calendar year 1358, equivalent to the period between April 1979 and March 1980….reports Asian Lite News
In Afghanistan’s eastern Khost province, the chilling discovery of a mass grave containing approximately 100 bodies has unearthed haunting echoes of the country’s tumultuous past under the Soviet-backed government. Mayor Bismillah Bilal revealed that the grave was stumbled upon during the construction of a small dam in the Sarbani area of central Khost.
Initial assessments suggest that the victims were interred during the Afghan calendar year 1358, equivalent to the period between April 1979 and March 1980. Mayor Bilal, speaking to AFP, emphasized that the bodies, all seemingly civilian, included some adorned in women’s attire. Local residents pointed to the grim aftermath of the 1978 communist coup, attributing the deaths to the ruthless campaign of violence that ensued under the Soviet-backed regime.
Salam Sharifi, whose father vanished during the communist era, lamented the atrocities inflicted upon the victims, describing the harrowing manner in which they were brought to their final resting place without due process. As municipality workers, aided by residents, delicately extracted the skeletal remains, the somber reality of the unknown identities of these martyrs became increasingly poignant.
Afghanistan’s history is scarred by decades of conflict, including the Soviet invasion, subsequent civil war, and the more recent US-led occupation. Mass graves, poignant reminders of the nation’s turbulent past, have been discovered sporadically, bearing witness to the atrocities endured by countless individuals.
This recent find joins a grim roster of similar discoveries, including a mass grave found in 2009 containing at least 20 bodies from the Soviet-backed government era. More chillingly, in September 2022, another mass grave was uncovered in Spin Boldak, a site synonymous with intense clashes between former Afghan government forces and Taliban insurgents during their protracted struggle for control before the latter seized power in 2021.
As Afghanistan grapples with its tumultuous past and uncertain future, each unearthed mass grave serves as a stark reminder of the profound human cost exacted by decades of conflict and political upheaval.