The remains of two individuals were exhumed on Thursday in north Nicosia, with mixed reports saying an aerial photograph taken in 1965 showed suspected graves while others have not ruled out some of the bodies might belong to missing persons from 1974.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, a bicommunal excavation team of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) exhumed on Thursday the remains of two presumed missing persons, close to the Tekke Garden Cemetery in north Nicosia.
The exhumations had begun a week earlier and were still ongoing, according to a CMP press release, which also stated that the committee had recovered the remains of 26 individuals so far in 2019.
It was still unclear whether the remains of the two individuals could be missing persons from 1974 or an earlier time during intercommunal conflict in 1964.
Philenews on Friday reported that search efforts in that area in the past were focusing on five Greek Cypriot missing persons. According to the report, the area near the cemetery in question turned out to be a place for burial of both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots who were murdered by extremists during times of interethnic conflict.
An aerial photo taken by an American spy plane in 1965 reportedly showed five graves in a row, two of which are believed to be associated with Thursday’s CMP discovery.
CMP also renewed its call to members of the public, who may have any information regarding missing persons on the island, to support the Committee’s efforts by providing information on possible burial sites.
People can call anonymously either the Greek Cypriot CMP member at 22 400 142 in the south or dial 181 for the Turkish Cypriot member in the north.
CMP was established in April 1981 by agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities under the auspices of the United Nations. Its aim is primarily to conduct investigations in order to establish the fate of missing persons throughout the entire island. [Kathimerini Cyprus]