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Mass Grave of 57 Bodies in Bucha – Ukrainian Official

Communal workers load a van with body bags of people killed during Russian shelling in the town of Bucha, not far from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on April 3. Sergei Supinsky / AFP

Fifty-seven people were buried in a mass grave in Bucha, a town outside Kyiv recently retaken by Ukrainian forces from Russian troops, a local official said Sunday, showing AFP a slit trench where the bodies lay.

"Here in this long grave, 57 people are buried," said Serhii Kaplychnyi, who identified himself as head of the rescue services in Bucha, organizing the recovery of the bodies. 

The mass grave is behind a church in the town center.

Roughly 10 bodies were visible, either unburied or partially covered by the earth. 

Some of the bodies were concealed in black zip-up body bags while others were in civilian clothing. 

Ukraine has accused Russian forces of a "deliberate massacre" in Bucha. 

Evidence of possible civilian killings around Kyiv has emerged as the Russian army has pulled back from the capital in the face of ferocious resistance from Ukrainian forces. 

AFP reporters saw at least 20 bodies, all in civilian clothing, strewn across a single street in Bucha on Friday. One had his hands tied behind his back with a white cloth, and his Ukrainian passport left open beside his body. 

Germany on Sunday condemned the killings of civilians in Buch as a "terrible war crime" and called for fresh EU sanctions against Russia. 

The UK called for the "appalling acts" to be investigated as war crimes.

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