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7,000 Bodies Discovered in Rwanda Graves

October 07, 1994|Associated Press

KIGALI, Rwanda — Mass graves containing a total of more than 7,000 bodies have been discovered in Rwanda, officials said Thursday.

The graves, side by side at Mabanza, about 60 miles west of the capital of Kigali, were believed to contain victims killed months ago, said Capt. Stephane Grenier, a U.N. military spokesman.

The Tutsi-installed government and U.N. peacekeepers based in nearby Kibuye, on the shores of Lake Kivu, were informed of the graves in recent days by local officials traveling in the area.

At least 500,000 Rwandans, mostly from the Tutsi minority, died in ethnic bloodshed triggered by the suspicious plane crash on April 6 at Kigali's airport that killed Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundi counterpart.

Hutu militias blamed for the slaughter fled to refugee camps in neighboring countries after the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front rebel army seized power in July.

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