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Texas police searching for 'mass grave' site

Authorities in Texas yesterday said they had received claims that a mass grave containing up to 30 bodies had been discovered.

The Liberty County Sheriff's Office was seeking a search warrant after a tip-off of a "violent crime scene" between Hardin and Daisetta, about 70 miles north-east of Houston.

A Sheriff's Department spokesman, Rex Evans, told the Associated Press his office received a report yesterday that there were bodies in the home. He told the Houston Chronicle that no bodies had been recovered shortly before 6pm local time. Local media had earlier reported the Sheriff's Office saying 25 to 30 bodies had been found, and CNN reported a federal source saying there were at least 20 bodies, including those of children, at the site.

"We only received information of a possible crime scene here at this location. Upon our arrival we determined that there was a need for a search warrant," said Captain Evans.

FBI spokeswoman Kim Barkhausen in Houston confirmed to Reuters that the FBI had been asked to help with the investigation, but would not elaborate. Sheriff's deputies had closed down a rural intersection at the scene.