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Skeletons uncovered in mass graves in Somalia

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Photo - In this photo taken Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, Chairman of the Somaliland War Crimes Commission Kadar Ahmed, left, oversees members of the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team as they work to uncover bodies buried in a mass grave in Hargeisa, Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia.  An American volunteer gently brushes away dirt to reveal the bones of a Somali victim buried in a mass grave some 30 years ago. Tens of thousands of skeletons may lie in mass graves here, on the northern edge of Somalia, where many want to see justice prevail, even if delayed.  Last year 38 bodies were uncovered in two graves by the Somaliland War Crimes Investigation Commission, which is overseeing the work on a third site where another dozen bodies are buried.  (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso)
In this photo taken Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, Chairman of the Somaliland War Crimes Commission Kadar Ahmed, left, oversees members of the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team as they work to uncover bodies buried in a mass grave in Hargeisa, Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia. An American volunteer gently brushes away dirt to reveal the bones of a Somali victim buried in a mass grave some 30 years ago. Tens of thousands of skeletons may lie in mass graves here, on the northern edge of Somalia, where many want to see justice prevail, even if delayed. Last year 38 bodies were uncovered in two graves by the Somaliland War Crimes Investigation Commission, which is overseeing the work on a third site where another dozen bodies are buried. (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso)
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HARGEISA, Somalia (AP) — Forensics experts are carefully uncovering bodies buried in mass graves in the northern edge of Somalia in the hopes of bringing comfort to the victims' families and justice to those responsible for the killings.

Kadar Ahmed, the chairman of the Somaliland War Crimes Investigation Commission, is overseeing teams that last year uncovered 38 bodies buried in two mass graves. Work is being carried out now on a third mass grave, where another dozen bodies are buried.

Ahmed says that many African countries try to forget about atrocities carried out in their pasts. He wants this northern tip of Somalia — a self-governing region called Somaliland — to confront those ghosts head-on.

An estimated 50,000 to 60,000 people were killed in Somaliland by Somalia's dictator in the late 1980s.

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