The corpses of three coup plotters who had tried to overthrow The Gambia's previous leader, Yahya Jammeh, have been discovered. The bodies were found after police received intelligence information by Jammeh's death squad, known as "the junglers".

Colonel Lamin Sanneh, who served in Jammeh's presidential guard, Alagie Nyass and Njaga Jagne, who served in Iraq for the US army, were killed in the aftermath of the failed coup in December 2014.

The bodies had been buried in a military firing range in Tintinto, near Jammeh's home village of Kanilai.

"The investigators were led to this site by members of President Yahya Jammeh's killing squad... The remains were exhumed in the presence of police, military and family members of the victims," a police source told news agency AFP. Forensic tests will be carried out in the coming weeks.

Jammeh, who ruled Gambia for 22 years after taking power in a bloodless coup in 1994, defied international calls to investigate the coup plotters' disappearance.

Six other men were convicted and sentenced by a military court in April 2015 in connection with the attempted overthrow.

Gambia's new president Adama Barrow – who defeated Jammeh in presidential elections held in December 2016 – pardoned the coup plotters and reintegrated them into the army.

Gambia faced a political deadlock earlier this year when Jammeh refused to relinquish power following his defeat. He eventually went into exile in Equatorial Guinea following pressure from world leaders and a military intervention by Economic Community Of West African States (Ecowas) troops.

Jammeh has often attracted criticism for – among other things – persecuting homosexuals, activists and political opponents and inciting ethnic hatred.

The new government announced in March that it was setting up a truth and reconciliation commission to provide reparations to the victims of alleged human rights abuses committed during Jammeh's administration.