The remains of four men killed by Eoka B during the July 1974 coup which overthrew the government of then president Archbishop Makarios are being exhumed from a group grave at Limassol’s Ayios Nicolaos cemetery, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Wednesday.

It said the exhumations, 48 years since the killings, started early on Wednesday morning, following a court order issued by Limassol district court at the request of the victims’ families so that they can be buried with due honours, in their birthplaces.

The four heroes, Charalambos and Anastasis Christofi, Pantelis Charalambous and Christakis Kombos, were killed on July 16, 1974.

Their relatives went to the cemetery early on Wednesday where experts from the team for exhumations and identification of remains are at work and said they were satisfied the process has started.

The remains will be handed over once the necessary DNA tests have been completed. The last joint memorial service for the four men will be carried out at Fikardou village on Sunday.

Siblings Charalambos and Anastasis, together with Charalambous, had undertaken to take two members of Archbishop Makarios’ presidential guard – Christakis Kombos and Yiorgos Vrountou – to Limassol.

According to testimony, their car was intercepted by members of Eoka B, they were interrogated, tortured and killed at a rubbish tip in the Ayios Tychonas area.