UN identifies mass grave in Mariupol with up to 200 bodies

The UN has identified a mass grave in the besieged southern city of Mariupol it says could hold about 200 people.

Matilda Bogner, head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, said her team was trying to assess the scale of the civilian casualties.

“One mass grave we’ve been able to get satellite information on, and we estimate that one of those mass graves holds about 200 people,” she said.

But “that does not mean all those people are civilian casualties”, she added – since the UN’s numbers do no include military deaths or those who die for other reasons during a war.

At least 1,035 civilians have been killed, she said – though the UN has consistently said it believes casualty numbers are “considerably higher” than its official numbers, due to the difficulty in verifying reports and getting information from war-hit areas.

Earlier this week, local commanders said they thought Mariupol’s death toll alone could be more than 3,000. Bodies are often left in the streets because it is too dangerous to retrieve them, and many of them later end up in mass graves.

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