Mass graves were found in northern Afghanistan. The victims were Hazara people, who have long been persecuted by the Pushtuns. The Taliban added religious hatred (the Hazara don't practice the same flavor of Islam as the Pushtuns) to the ancient ethnic animosities (the Hazara are descended from medieval Mongol invaders). The murders apparently occurred a month before the Taliban government fell in late 2001. There were rumors of mass killings of Hazara by Taliban troops who feared the Hazara would join the battle against them.