November 4, 2006 - 16:18 AMTPanARMENIAN.Net
- Turkish Gendarmerie has instructed local villagers of a southeastern region to keep silence about a mass grave, discovered on October 17, that might contain remains of Armenian Genocide
victims. According to a Kurdish newspaper published in Turkish Ulkede Ozgur Gundem, villagers from Xirabebaba (Kuru) were digging a grave for one of their relatives when they came across to a cave full of skulls and bones of reportedly 40 people. The Xirabebaba residents assumed they had uncovered a mass grave of 300 Armenian villagers massacred during the Genocide of 1915. They informed Akarsu Gendarmerie headquarters, the local military unit, about the discovered remains. Turkish army officers, according to the Kurdish newspaper, instructed the villagers to block the cave entrance and make no mention of the remains buried in it. The officers said an investigation would take place. The newspaper reported on the developments and the Turkish military's attempt to hide the news. Journalists, who had arrived to obtain more information, were denied access to the cave.
As the mass burial made news, local Gendarmerie made another visit to the villagers. The latter were pressed to report the name of the person who leaked the mass burial discovery to the press. The villagers were warned not to show anyone directions to the cave. The victims of the mass grave, according to Sodertorn University History Professor David Gaunt, are most likely the 150 Armenian and 120 Assyrian males from the nearby town of Dara (now Oguz) killed on June 14, 1915, reports Asbarez.