Farm where godfather hid out is a Mafia graveyard

A MAFIA graveyard containing the bodies of dozens of mob victims has been uncovered close to the hideout of godfather of godfathers, Bernardo Provenzano.

Two skulls as well as several fragments of bones were unearthed by a farmer as he ploughed fields close to the isolated farmhouse hideout where Provenzano was arrested.

He had been on the run for more than 40 years and was finally captured in April after police tracked a parcel of clean laundry sent to him by his devoted wife.

Yesterday forensic teams were combing the field at Chiosi just over a mile from the farmhouse where Provenzano was tracked down near Corleone on Sicily.

Police suspect the field contains the bodies of dozens of victims in the last 40 years of Mafia wars.

In Sicily it is common for victims of the mob to disappear. It is known locally as the "lupara bianca'' (white lupara) . Lupara is the Sicilian word for a sawn-off shotgun and the term "lupara bianca" is used to refer to Mafia murders in which the body is never found.

So far two jawbones, vertebrae, two skulls both with shotgun wounds to the side, and a breast bone with bullet wounds have been unearthed and officers expect to find more.

DNA samples will be taken from the remains and compared to relatives of victims who are missing - among these trade unionist Placido Rizzotto who vanished in the 1950s and who is said to have been murdered on the orders of Provenzano.

In Corleone alone, where Provenzano was based before going on the run, there are more than a dozen "lupara bianca" victims.

Local prosecutor Alberto Di Pisa said: "The area has been impounded and a search of the field is taking place and will continue for the next few days. The suspicion is that further bodies will be discovered."

In the past Mafia victims have also been discovered encased in concrete supports for motorway flyovers across Sicily.

All the fragments discovered were taken to the police forensics lab at Palermo where they were being examined and DNA tested.

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