The remains of 108 Greek soldiers killed during a WWII advance of Greek forces in Albania, as Greece repelled an attempted invasion by Italian forces in 1940-41, have so far been unearthed during an ongoing search at Dragot (Tepeleni) in Albania, the Hellenic National Defence General Staff announced on Thursday. None of the remains have yet been identified, the announcement said. The soldiers were killed and buried in mass graves in Albania during the Greek-Italian war 1940-1941 as Greece repelled an attempted invasion by Italian forces who had occupied Albania.
The General Staff said that a database of DNA samples taken from relatives/descendants of the fallen has been created by the department of Molecular Biology at the 401 General Military Hospital of Athens.
Over 360 blood samples have already been sent in from all over the country, while a large number of people have contacted the General Staff to seek further information in connection with the ongoing search.
this shows the kin interest of descents of the fallen soldiers to find out aobut the fate of their beloved ones.
The results of the individual DNA tests will be released to the next-of-kin, while figures and details will be announced at a regular basis.
The search for the Greek soldiers’ remains began on January 22, 2018 as part of an agreement between Greece and Albania.
Thousands of Greek soldiers fell on Albanian soil while they were fighting against Mussolini’s fascists troops in 1940-1941 who had occupied Greece’s neighboring country. The move comes after the Albanian government has pledged to build new cemeteries for 8,000 Greek soldiers killed between November 1940 and April 1941.
Technical teams under the supervision of a bilateral committee and in presence of Albanian and Greek forensics experts started to dig in places around Dragodi, the location of the mass graves for fallen soldiers. The area was picked up based in old Italian military maps as well as on testimonies by residents in the area. It is estimated that 6,800 out of 8,000 fallen Greek soldiers are buried in the mountainous area of Korytsa.