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Austrian lab to test missing students' clothes

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Austrian lab to test missing students' clothes
A protest in Mexico. File photo: Epa/Mendez
09:16 CEST+02:00
Mexican authorities have delivered clothing and objects linked to last year's disappearance and presumed massacre of 43 students to an Austrian laboratory in a new bid to identify the victims.

The 53 items were handed over to the University of Innsbruck, which has only managed to confirm the identity of one of the students among 17 sets of charred remains sent by Mexico late last year.

The pieces of clothing and other objects were sent to Austria on a request by international experts of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, which has been conducting its own investigation into a case that caused international outrage.

The items were "reviewed and catalogued" by prosecutors and members of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, the attorney general's office said in a statement.

The Argentine team has worked on the case at the request of relatives of the missing because they do not trust the authorities.

In a July report, the Inter-American commission sharply questioned why prosecutors had not used clothing from the missing students as evidence.

The commission's experts asked the authorities to process the items, photograph them and undertake genetic tests, which were conducted in late July.

Prosecutors say the 43 students were abducted by corrupt police in the southern Guerrero state town of Iguala on September 26 and delivered to a drug gang, which slaughtered them and incinerated their bodies.

International human rights groups criticized the government's conclusion, saying it relied too much on the testimony of suspected criminals instead of physical evidence.

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