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Bones and barbed wire as Malaysia exhumes graves

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Barbed wire and a human jawbone hinted at the brutality in suspected people-smuggling camps in Malaysia as police began the grisly task of exhuming dozens of graves along the Thai border.

Police escorted journalists on a gruelling hike into a thickly jungled state park in Perlis, northern Malaysia, where authorities have found 28 such camps in the latest grim turn in South-east Asia’s migrant crisis.

Fearing possible attack from armed traffickers lurking in the woods, police advised reporters to hit the ground if they heard any gunshots during the four-hour round-trip slog up a remote mountain.

Via a jungle path that was clearly well-trodden, reporters were led to a single small camp in a forest clearing, where barbed wire surrounded two rickety structures made of jungle saplings and bamboo, with tarpaulins lying on the ground.

Nearby, police carrying shovels and white body bags dug up a grave, pulling out a corpse apparently wrapped in a Muslim shroud.

A small cage is seen at an abandoned camp used by people-smugglers in a jungle in the Malaysian-Thailand border

 A cage is seen at an abandoned camp used by people-smugglers in a jungle in the Malaysia-Thailand borderPHOTO: AFP

“We have found 37 graves (at the camp) but we have only recovered one body so far,” local police official Muhammad Bahar Alias told AFP.

The camp visited on Tuesday (May 26) seemed largely to have been picked clean of most evidence indicating what went on there.

But on the ground lay a human lower jaw with several teeth still in it.

A low cage-like pen also could be seen, but it was unknown whether it was used for livestock or people.

Source: AFP