Another Mass grave discovered in Najaf
The Director of the Human Rights department in Najaf last week announced the discovery of another mass grave in the southern part of the province. The grave contains the bodies of some 22 people who are thought to have been executed by Saddam Hussein’s regime during the Sahaabaniya Revolution of 1991.
Some of remains have been sent to Baghdad laboratories for DNA tests. The grave is believed to contain Kurds, since other mass graves previously discovered in the province mainly contained Kurdish corpses.
Of the one million plus Iraqis who are missing as a result of executions, wars and defections, hundreds of thousands are believed to be buried in mass graves. Most of the graves discovered to date correspond to one of five major atrocities perpetrated by the regime. According to the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, many mass graves in Kurdistan contain Iraqi Kurds killed in genocidal acts because of their ethnicity.
Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime stands accused of murdering hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, especially Kurds and Shiites, during its three decades in power. Many of its victims were buried in mass graves, a proportion of which have still to be found.
Saddam Hussein’s regime launched eight brutal ‘Anfal’ campaigns against the Kurdish people, starting in 1987 and ending in 1988. The number of people murdered in the campaigns is estimated to be around 180 000. The regime also destroyed some 3 000 Kurdish villages during the campaign, displacing over 10 000 people.