Jan 29, Colombo: Skeletal remains of 53 people have so far been unearthed from the unmarked grave site found in Mannar in Northern Sri Lanka, the police said.
Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said several fragments of another skeleton were found during excavations today bringing the latest total of remains uncovered to 53 from the mass grave site.
The excavations at the site along the access road to the Thiruketheeswaram Kovil in Mannar in the former war zone began on December 20 after road construction workers laying water pipes along the road stumbled on the human skeletal remains and alerted the police.
The excavations are carried out under the direction of specialist Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Dr. Dhananjaya Waidyaratna in the presence of Mannar District Magistrate Ms. Ananthi Kanagaratnam.
The remains are yet to be identified and how and when the deaths occurred are yet to be determined, according to the police.
The Police Media Spokesman said the IGP recently handed over the investigations into the mass grave to the Criminal Investigation Department and accordingly, a special CID team has already been deployed to the site for further investigations.
The area was under the control of the Tamil Tigers until the government security forces liberated the area in 2008 and the police suspect the grave was used by the Tamil Tigers during the war to bury civilians and soldiers killed by the rebels.