BAGHDAD, Iraq — Municipal employees working on a sewage project in the Shiite holy city of Karbala found skeletal remains believed to be from a mass grave dating to 1991.
Officials said the grave may contain over 100 victims, including women and children, of a brutal crackdown by Saddam Hussein’s regime following a Shiite uprising in the south after Desert Storm.
The remains were discovered Monday and were sent for testing Tuesday in an effort to identify the bodies, said Rahman Mashawy, a Karbala police spokesman.
Human rights organizations estimate that more than 300,000 people, mainly Kurds and Shiite Muslims, were killed and buried in mass graves during Saddam’s 23-year rule, which ended when U.S.-led forces toppled his regime in 2003. Saddam and seven co-defendants are now on trial for the deaths of more than 140 Shiites after a 1982 attempt on Saddam’s life in the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad