A mass grave containing the remains of more than 1,000 Jews believed to have been murdered by the Nazis has been found in Belarus.
Bones of men, women and children with gunshot wounds to their skulls have been located at a building site in the city of Brest on the Polish border.
The skeletons of around 600 have been unearthed so far, with Belarus soldiers – deployed to undertake the macabre work – now locating the remains of some 40 people each day in the sinister burial place.
City official Anna Kondak said: “We expect the number of victims to go over 1,000.”
The dead are believed to have been Holocaust victims of the Nazis from the Second World War, say officials.
The victims were from the Brest Jewish ghetto where up to 28,000 lived in 1941-42, it is understood.
Some 17,000 people are known to have been shot in October 1942 near Bronnaya Gora railway station, while thousands more were also presumed to have been slaughtered.
The recent discovery of human remains came during excavations for a new luxury residential development and a shopping mall, said city officials.
The building work has been suspended while the remains of the mass murder victims are disinterred.
A petition has been started in Brest demanding that building work is permanently halted at the site of the mass shooting.
So far 492 people have called for a memorial park to replace the residential development and shopping centre. The matter is being discussed by the city authorities.