Colombia hastens search for 28,000 bodies in unmarked graves

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Colombia is intensifying efforts to identify some 28,000 victims of the country's long-running conflict whose bodies were dumped in unmarked graves.

Judicial authorities in coming weeks will visit seven towns hit hard by a half-century of fighting and take testimony and blood samples from local residents to help forensic teams identify bodies.

The chief prosecutor's office said Monday that over five years they have identified 897 of 1,017 bodies exhumed from unmarked graves in public cemeteries. The burial spots of some 28,000 bodies have been found throughout the country but the remains have not been retrieved.

Prosecutors say they can speed up the work because of an agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia during peace talks last October to compensate victims.