The five "milicianas".

It has been described as an historic day, as news from excavations of graves at the Son Coletes cemetery in Manacor indicates that the remains of three Republican militia women have been discovered.

Confirmation is needed, but everything points to these being the remains of three of five women who participated in the Republican landing in Mallorca in August 1936. Under the command of General Alberto Bayo, the 5,000 or so troops who arrived on the east coast of the island were to fail in their mission to reclaim Mallorca from the Nationalist rebels. Even today it isn't known for certain how many of these troops perished.

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The five women were "milicianas", militia women but who served with Bayo in a support capacity - they were nurses. The Balearic minister for democratic memory, government vice-president Juan Pedro Yllanes, says that it is highly probable that the remains are those of three of the women: "No other group of women is known to have been executed together." In the graves their remains are next to men who were executed.

Ongoing work at the cemetery will now include looking for the remains of the two other women.