Mayor of Ukraine's Bucha says 403 bodies found so far

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Slovakia's Prime Minister Eduard Heger and Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stand next to a mass grave as they visit the town of Bucha, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, outside of Kyiv, Ukraine April 8, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

April 12 (Reuters) - The mayor of the Ukrainian town of Bucha near Kyiv said on Tuesday that authorities had so far found 403 bodies of people they believed were killed by Russian forces during their occupation of the area but that the number was growing.

Anatoliy Fedoruk added during a briefing that it was too early for residents to return to the town, after Russian soldiers retreated late last month.

Reuters could not immediately verify Fedoruk's comments about the number of people found dead in Bucha. Reuters has witnessed the remains of five victims in Bucha who were shot through the head but has not been able to independently determine who was responsible. read more

Moscow, which has repeatedly denied targeting civilians since its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, has called allegations that Russian forces executed civilians in Bucha while they occupied the town a "monstrous forgery" aimed at denigrating the Russian army.

Reporting by Max Hunder Writing by Alexander Winning Editing by Gareth Jones

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