In a field south of Mo­sul, in­ves­ti­ga­tors probe mass grave

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

The stench of death drew Iraqi sol­diers to the un­set­tled plot of land freshly lib­er­ated from Is­lamic State fight­ers.

When a bull­dozer scraped the ground, bones poked from just be­neath the sur­face, along with cloth­ing scraps, garbage bags, hu­man re­mains swarm­ing with flies — and even a child’s stuffed an­i­mal.

About 100 bod­ies, many of them de­cap­i­tated, are sus­pected to be buried in what is likely the lat­est mass grave left by the re­treat­ing ji­hadis, of­fi­cials said. In­ves­ti­ga­tors on Tues­day be­gan their probe of the site, lo­cated near an agri­cul­tural school in Hamam al-Alil.

The grue­some dis­cov­ery by troops ad­vanc­ing on mil­i­tant-held Mo­sul fits a pat­tern in ter­ri­tory re­taken from IS. The ex­trem­ist group killed hun­dreds as it swept across north­ern and cen­tral parts of Iraq in 2014 and is be­lieved to have car­ried out a bru­tal crack­down since the Oct. 17 start of an of­fen­sive.

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