Burkina Faso is exhuming the graves of thirteen people including revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara, whose death nearly 30 years ago in a coup has remained a mystery.

Interim president Michel Kafando last year said investigations into Sankara's death would go forward "in the name of national reconciliation." In March, the exhumation was authorized.

Sankara and 12 colleagues were killed in a 1987 coup by his former best friend, Blaise Compaore, who seized power.

The exhumations began Monday morning at the Dagnoen Cemetary, on the eastern outskirts of Ouagadougou, and are expected to be a lengthy process.

Local gendarmerie and forensic experts from Burkina Faso and France are performing the exhumations. DNA tests will follow to prove the identities of the remains and causes of death.