ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A mass grave containing the bodies of 20 women has been discovered in western Mosul, police officials said on Monday.
According to Police Lieutenant General Omar al-Hajjar, the victims were executed by the Islamic State (IS) after they attempted to escape the city during the US-led coalition’s offensive to liberate the city in 2016.
“Twenty bodies of women whose bodies bore signs of torture were found during a rubble removal operation in the eastern coast of Mosul,” Hajjar told Iraqi media.
“Security forces carried out the full recovery of the bodies with their personal cards, and they were handed over to forensic officials in Mosul,” he added.
The Lieutenant General also said the bodies would be returned to relatives once the identities of the women were known.
In October 2016, the Iraqi army, with the help of Kurdish Peshmerga forces and air support from the US-led coalition, began an offensive to liberate Mosul from IS.
During the nine-month-long campaign, which ended in July 2017, the militant group regularly used civilians as human shields to defend against airstrikes and ground attacks.
Mass graves containing the bodies of civilians massacred by IS continue to be discovered across Iraq since the group’s defeat, especially in Yezidi (Ezidi)-populated Sinjar (Shingal).
On Dec. 29, local authorities in Shingal said they had uncovered a mass grave containing the bodies of 80 Ezidi women who appeared to have been buried alive.
On Dec. 15, two mass graves containing the remains of dozens of Ezidis—mostly women and children killed by IS—were found in Shingal town, west of Mosul.