7 May 2004

Solomon Islands Weather Coast graves exhumed

6:11 am on 7 May 2004

A team of police and specialists from Australia have dug up eight more grave sites, on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ben McDevitt confirmed from the eight graves exhumed, they expect twenty-two bodies.

He says of the twenty-two, ten bodies are of the men from Kwaio in Malaita who disappeared in the area last year, and later, the Guadalcanal warlord, Harold Keke, confirmed their deaths.

Mr McDevitt says the exhumations have been difficult for all involved, including the victims' relatives, but the team have tried to do it with dignity.

He says the exhumations are critical to ongoing investigations by police into the atrocities committed by Keke and his men, during their five-year reign of terror in the region.

The regional assistance mission last year dug up more than ten graves.