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Mass grave uncovered in Gambian military barracks

A team of forensic experts of the Gambia police in collaboration with the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commissions on Wednesday uncovered a mass grave at a military barracks believed to the connected to victims of a foiled coup on November 11 1994.Tearful families were present at the Yundum Barracks, 16 km outside Banjul to watch the bones and other remains of seven purported soldiers killed shortly after an alleged coup was foiled 24 years ago by the military junta led by Yahya Jammeh.

The abortive putsch came barely four months after Jammeh, then a young lieutenant seized power in a bloodless coup. 

On display were skulls and bones along with military fatigues, a ring, some wires apparently used to tie the victims and decomposing underwears which suggest that those buried there had been half naked when they were buried.  

The lead forensic expert with the TRRC Thomas R,J, Gomez said it took the team two weeks to identify the mass grave and exhume the bodies. 

He said in the next few weeks, two other mass graves would be dug to exhume the remains of more soldiers thought to have been executed in connection with the failed coup of 1994.

The latest find appears be consistent with testimonies by successive TRRC witnesses some of whom testified that those accused of the mutiny were executed at a forest before their remains were transported back to the Yundum barracks where they were buried.  

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