Grave is found by troops
Investigators trying to identify ISIS victims
Investigators are probing a mass grave discovered by Iraqi troops near Mosul.
The chilling find was the latest instance of mass graves being uncovered in territory wrested from ISIS militants.
In Iraq and Syria so far, the group has killed thousands of people in summary executions and extrajudicial killings, the graves a dark testimony to its brutality.
Footage of the site shows bones and decomposed bodies among scraps of clothing and plastic bags dug out of the ground by a bulldozer after Iraqi troops noticed a strong smell while advancing into the town of Hamam Al Alil on Monday.
“Investigators flew in this morning and are on their way to the grave to conduct examinations and determine the cause of death,” Cabinet official Haider Majeed, in charge of mass grave investigations, said yesterday.
The first officials at the site said the grave, behind an earthen embankment near an agricultural college, likely holds about 100 bodies, many of them decapitated. The town is about 30km from Mosul.
It was unclear who the victims were, but a soldier at the site pulled a child’s stuffed animal from the scraps of clothing and rotting flesh, swarming with flies.
ISIS has carried out a series of massacres since sei - zing large swaths of Iraq in the summer of 2014. They have often documented them with photos and videos circ- ulated online.
The campaign to drive them from Mosul, Iraq’s secondlargest city and the extremists’ last major urban stronghold in the country, began on October 17. Iraqi troops and the Kurdish peshmerga forces are now converging on Mosul, although the deepest advance into an eastern sliver of the city has stalled after militants counterattacked advancing special forces.
‘Investigators flew in to determine the cause of death’ – Iraqi official Haider Majeed
VICTIM: A child’s toy is found among the bodies buried in the mass grave near Mosul