Pits thought to be mass grave found in central Vietnam

TN News

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Authorities in the central province of Ha Tinh said they would investigate if some pits excavated recently at a construction site are a centuries old mass grave, news website Vietnamnet reported Monday.

Pham Huu Binh, chairman of the Vu Quang District People's Committee, said permission would be sought from provincial authorities to get archeological and cultural agencies to identify if the black sludge found in the pits are human remains.

"We are still not sure. Some were shaped like human remains, but when taken out of the pits they disintegrated."

A manager from the Vietnam Company 1, which was building the Ngan Truoi Cam Trang housing resettlement area in Vu Quang when its workers made the discovery, said over 30 remains have been removed from the site in the last 10 days.

Many old vases were also found in the pits, but there were no traces of coffins, he said.

An unnamed worker said some eight locations with traces of mass graves have been found at the construction site so far.

Vietnamnet quoted Phan Thanh Tung, an elderly local man, as saying that the graves probably related to the rebel force led by Phan Dinh Phung to fight the French colonialists between 1885 and 1896.

The force was once based at the site, which has been uninhabited for many years, he added.

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