Cyprus dead return home

The bones of eight Greek officers and NCOs who fell during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and which had been listed as missing will be flown back to Athens today after the remains were identified using DNA sampling. The remains of Captain Sotirios Tsionos and NCOs Georgios Binakis, Christos Zarkos, Emmanouil Zaharatos, Ioannis Iliopoulos, Georgios Rodopoulos, Constandinos Halatsis and Thomas Lyngos were handed over yesterday to Greek army representatives during a ceremony at the Cypriot Foreign Ministry in Nicosia. Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides expressed his gratitude to the families of the men «who fell in defense of Cyprus’s freedom and sovereignty.» All nine had been laid in unmarked graves in Nicosia’s SS Constantine and Helen and Lakatameia cemeteries, and were exhumed under a program started three years ago to help determine the fate of over 1,500 Greeks and Greek Cypriots listed as missing after the invasion. The official number of missing people now stands at 1,586.

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