The decomposed bodies of 16 miners kidnapped nearly a decade ago in northwestern Pakistan have been found in a mass grave, officials said Friday.
The miners went missing in December 2011 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province — once a stronghold of Pakistan’s Taliban, who raised funds by kidnapping workers for ransom.
Members of Pakistan’s Rescue 1122 squad had been searching an area some 50 kilometres (30 miles) southwest of Peshawar for two months after getting new information on the case from relatives of those kidnapped.
“The medical teams have examined and confirmed that they are all sixteen,” Kamran Bangash, the provincial information minister, told AFP.
“All… are decomposed and beyond recognition”, he added.
Bilal Ahmad Faizi, a spokesman for the rescue service, confirmed the operation.
Earlier this year 10 miners were kidnapped and then murdered in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group in the restive southwestern Machh area.