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World Briefing / Belarus

Bodies of WWII victims found

July 24, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

More than 20 bodies of people shot in the 1940s, almost certainly by the Soviet NKVD secret police, have been found in a church in northern Belarus, historians in the former Soviet state said.

Yaroslav Bernyakovich, a local history enthusiast, said a youth group came across the bodies while exploring disused parts of a church in Glubokoye. The town was part of Poland between the World Wars but reverted to Soviet Belarus after Nazi and Soviet leaders divided up eastern European states in 1939.

Found alongside the bodies were cartridge cases from pistols and rifles commonly used by Stalin's NKVD police.

An official said authorities would carry out an investigation.

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