Iran to hold funeral ceremony for 600 war dead
TEHRAN, June 9 (AFP) - Funeral ceremonies for 600 Iranian soldiers
killed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war will be held Thursday at the
shrine of the Imam Khomeini, Iranian state radio announced Wednesday.
After the ceremony at the shrine just outside Tehran, the remains of
the soldiers will be taken to the northeastern city of Mashhad for burial.
Most of the bodies were discovered recently by search teams working
in the Iranian-Iraqi border region.
The two countries regularly exchange the bodies of former combatants,
and the remains of more than 40,000 Iranian troops have been found since
the end of the war that claimed some 300,000 Iranian lives and injured
more than 500,000.
On Tuesday, the remains of 47 Iranian soldiers were handed over in
exchange for 59 Iraqis, at the Shalameja border post in southwestern Iran.
Close to 50 members of Iran's search teams have been killed and another
81 injured since 1990 in mine explosions during search operations carried
out in border areas.