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Some remains found of those buried at psychiatric hospital in 1974

(Photo: Christos Theodorides)

Investigators have recovered remains believed to be those of people killed when the Turkish air force bombed the psychiatric hospital in Nicosia in 1974 and were hastily buried in a crater.

The hospital, located in Athalassa in the southeastern outskirts of Nicosia, was bombed on July 20, 1974. Among those killed were 28 Greek Cypriots and three Turkish Cypriots, mostly patients, including seven women, witnesses have said. Two of them, a nurse and a soldier were buried elsewhere at the time.

The investigators, led by Xenophon Kallis, the head of the foreign ministry’s humanitarian affairs directorate, have so far unearthed remains and other objects, including pieces of the bomb, clothing and footwear, blankets, x-rays, combs, medicine bottles, a syringe, and other medical consumables.

Presidential commissioner Photis Photiou said it was not an easy job, despite initial expectations.

“I have been informed today that bones have been located … this certainly is a positive sign,” he told reporters. “You understand that apart from the 10 we have located at the initial area, by the napalm crater, we must find 21 more.”

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