The Council of Ministers decided to launch an excavation programme for Greek Cypriot missing persons killed during the intercommunal fighting at Tyllyria in the north western part of Cyprus.
In a written statement, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said the excavations that will get underway in September aim to find the remains of Greek Cypriots, hospital staff and national guardsmen who were in a temporary hospital at Pachyammos that was bombed by the Turkish air force with napalm incendiary bombs in August 1964, as well as another two sites where people killed by the bombings are believed to be buried.
“The hospital staff and soldiers that were hospitalised there lost their lives in a horrific way during the bombing of the hospital which was totally destroyed,” Photiou said.
The Presidential Commissioner also said burned human remains have been collected from the debris in the site of the destroyed hospital, noting however that the exact number of wounded persons hospitalised at the time the bombing took place is not known.
Photiou presided over a meeting between representatives of the competent services at the Presidential Palace aiming at designing and coordinating the excavations.
He also noted that the excavations take place in the context of the Republic of Cyprus’ exhumation and identification programme in the government-controlled areas and will be carried out by Cypriot scientists while the genetic examinations will be carried out by the Cyprus Institute of Genetics and Neurology.
These cases, he noted, are not included in the bi-communal Committee of the Missing Persons’ list and are not associated with the CMP’s exhumation programme.
“As the case with other exhumations and identifications carried out in the context of the Republic of Cyprus exhumation and identification programme, these efforts have purely humanitarian nature,” Photiou added.
“As the government and the state we believe we have a legal and moral obligation to deliver the identified remains to their families so that they could proceed with a decent burial according to our religion and tradition,” the Presidential Commissioner concluded.
(Cyprus News Agency)