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Archeologists unearth mass graves at the scene of Spanish Civil War-era purge

Zaragoza, Spain, Oct 25 (EFE).- Archeologists in Spain have unearthed two graves near Zaragoza that could contain the bodies of 150 people who were executed during a fascist purge in the early days of the Spanish Civil War.

The discovery was made in the cemetery of Belchite.

A section of Belchite remains a ghost town to this day due to the scale of damage it took during the war, which raged from 1936-39.

Although pending confirmation, it is believed that the two graves may hold the bodies of at least 150 people whose execution by Falangist forces, which supported Fransicso Franco’s nationalist uprising against the Second Republic, was documented.

Jose Vidal, head of the local historical memory law association, which campaigns to search for and identify victims of the Spanish Civil War and Franco, said that around 400 people from the town and nearby villages in the area of northeast Spain were executed soon after war erupted.

Among the fifteen bodies that have been excavated in the first grave were women and a minor.

The skeletons were found with bullet holes in their skulls and in positions that indicated “significant violence,” as if they were thrown in the graves hand-cuffed, according to archaeologist and co-director of the excavation, Gonzalo Garcia.

It is estimated that some 130,000 people are buried in unidentified mass graves across Spain, of which 90,000 were killed during the civil war and 40,000 during Franco’s post-war dictatorship, according to experts. EFE


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