- Ch. Drew and T. Mabile, "Desert
Graves in Northern Iraq Yield Evidence to Try Hussein," in The New York Times, June 7, 2005:
"... what was found at Hatra shows how the Hussein leadership made a
'business of killing people' - the scrape marks from the blade of the
bulldozer that shoved victims into the trench, the point-blank shots to
the backs of even the babies' heads, the withered body of a 3- or
4-year-old boy, still clutching a red and white ball." "...
piecing together evidence that Mr. Hussein's government turned
the campaign, code-named 'Anfal,' or 'the spoils,' into a killing
spree. Iraqi officials have said their main goal was to root out
Kurdish militias siding with Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. But Human
Rights Watch, the New York-based group, has estimated that up to
100,000 Kurds, mostly civilians, were killed, and 2,000 villages
destroyed, including dozens bombed with chemical weapons. Michael K.
Trimble, an archaeologist who headed the forensics team, said the first
surprise was that the trench held only women and children - about 300
in all. He said two-thirds were children, and most of the skeletons
rested inside several layers of handmade clothing, with bags of pots,
pans and toys strewn in the dirt. He said it quickly became clear that
most of the victims had been carrying - or wearing - all their
belongings, as if they had been told they would be resettled. The
bodies were stacked haphazardly in four or five layers. Nearly all had
a single .22-caliber pistol shot behind one ear. Mr. Trimble said it
looked as if the first people had been shot inside the trench, while
the others had been killed at the lip and pushed in by a bulldozer."
[for Mr. Trimble, see also Johnson
November 23, 2004]; "A second trench held 150 men, each sprayed
with fire from automatic weapons. Most had been blindfolded and tied
together in a chain. Mr. Kehoe said this suggested that the women and
children had been killed by Iraqi security officers carrying
small-caliber arms, while the men had been killed by a military unit.
... Mr. Kehoe said the rolling field held up to a dozen other trenches,
with at least 2,000 more bodies. Mr. Nivala said a second grave site,
at Samawa in southern Iraq, yielded similar results; in April,
investigators excavated one trench and found bodies of 114 Kurds, all
but 5 women and children. Mr. Nivala said that field had 18 trenches,
and 10 were filled, with at least 1,500 bodies."
Photo: "Pool photo by Thanassis Cambanis - Michael K. Trimble, an
archaeologist, and Gregory W. Kehoe, an American lawyer working with
the Iraqi tribunal investigating abuses by Saddam Hussein and others,
at a mass grave near Hatra, in northern Iraq."