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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hundreds of Bodies Found in Soviet-Era Prison, BBC Says

An underground prison dating back to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan has been found on the northern outskirts of Kabul, the BBC reported Friday.

Hundreds of bodies were found at the site, many of them with rope or cloth around their eyes and hands, suggesting the victims had been blindfolded and bound, according to the report.

"This is a big mass grave from the Russian days," said General Ali Shah Paktiwal, a senior police official, the BBC reported.

The Defense Ministry could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon. But retired general Makhmud Gareyev, who served as senior military adviser to the Afghan government from 1989 to 1992, told Interfax on Friday that the BBC report was "disinformation."

"This is crudely manufactured disinformation, because there were no prison cells in the garrisons of the 40th Army on Afghan territory, nor could there have been by definition," Gareyev said.

The 40th Army was the Soviet force that invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

Gareyev, president of the Academy of Military Sciences, said the prison was likely run by an Afghan field commander fighting the Soviets.

"Maintaining underground prisons is a tradition of the mujahedeen," Gareyev told Interfax.

The prison was uncovered by a 70-year-old Afghan who had worked for the Soviets and had only recently returned to the country, the BBC reported.

Paktiwal, the Afghan police official, told the BBC that the prison was located at a base that had belonged to the country's communist-era defense ministry.

"There are at least 15 rooms full of dead bodies," he said, adding that more rooms could still be discovered underground, the BBC reported.

In 2006, NATO-led forces found a mass grave in Afghanistan that was also believed to contain victims of the country's communist government. Some 2,000 bodies were found near the notorious Pul-e-Charkhi prison east of Kabul.