Mass Grave Containing 400 Bodies Found Near Fallujah
Paramilitaries and Iraqi federal police found a mass grave on Sunday (June 5) with as many as 400 bodies near the Isis -held city of Fallujah, as a major offensive to regain the city is underway.
Most of the bodies found in the mass grave in Saqlawiyah district, northwest of Fallujah, are of Iraqi soldiers believed to have been executed by ISIS militants in 2014 and 2015.
Security forces were defusing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by militants when they discovered the grave.
Police sources said witnesses reported the soldiers bodies were riddled with bullets – likely the cause of death – in the Shuhada neighborhood of the district.
A member of the Anbar Provincial Council, Rajih Barakat, said the bodies also included civilians who are believed to have been killed over spying charges and breaking ISIS’ strict rules.
Dozens of mass graves sites have been found in areas taken back from ISIS across Iraq since the war against the terror group began in 2014.
Camp Speicher, located in Tikrit, was the site of a June 2014 massacre in which militants killed up to 1,700 Iraqi Shia Air Force cadets. Mass graves were found in the area, containing the bodies of cadets, when Iraqi security retook the city in April 2015.
Farther north in Sinjar district, west of Mosul, mass graves containing the bodies of hundreds of Ezidis were found after Kurdish forces, backed by the U.S.-led Coalition, pushed ISIS out of that area in November 2015.