Unidentified skeletons found in Afghan presidential palace

Skeletons and skulls discovered under kitchen in Afghanistan’s presidential palace during restoration project

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Parts of two human skeletons are seen in this image provided by the Afghan Presidential Palace on October 6, 2015

Updated Oct 7, 2015

Afghanistan’s presidential palace announced on Tuesday that skeletons, skulls and bones belonging to two bodies were uncovered under a kitchen during renovation work on palace grounds.

In Tuesday’s statement the palace said the remains were sent for forensic examination.

The identities, gender and the cause of death of the bodies were not immediately known. A commission was assembled by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to investigate bodies. The commission included representatives of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commissiın and Physicians for Human Rights.

"The president has tasked a commission of forensic experts and representatives of Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission to examine the bodies and prepare them for proper burial in accordance with Islamic rites," a statement said.

 Mass graves of unindentified victims of war, mostly connected to former warlords, have long been discovered in Afghanistan.

Construction site where parts of two human skeletons were found is seen in this image provided by the Afghan Presidential Palace on October 6, 2015

In 2012, nearly 2,000 bodies were discovered in a mass grave in northern Afghanistan. The bodies were allegedly those of Taliban fighters killed after being captured in fighting.

Afghanistan has been in a near-permanent state of war for 35 years. It has witnessed constant battles from the struggle against Soviet occupation in the 1980’s to the current militant attacks.

In 1996 the Taliban seized Kabul and strung up the corpse of former Afghan President Najibullah on a signpost. He was later buried in the eastern province of Pakita.

However, a proper burial was denied to Afghanistan’s first President Mohammad Daud Khan, who was executed in a coup in 1978 along with 18 of his relatives. His body was found in a mass grave in 2008 along those of 15 other victims. The remains was later reburied in 2009.

TRTWorld and agencies