Mass grave discovered in Iraq’s disputed Khanaqin
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi authorities announced on Sunday the discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of citizens believed to have been executed during the rule of former President Saddam Hussein.
The site was found between the towns of Kifri and Khanaqin in Diyala province, according to the Department of Mass Graves Affairs and Protection of Iraq’s Martyrs Foundation, a governmental body.
“New information provided by one of the families of the martyrs from the residents of Kifri - Khanaqin led to the discovery of a mass grave for the victims of Baath crimes,” read a statement from the department.
It also indicated the burial place likely contains a large number of Kurds against whom the government of Saddam Hussein undertook a campaign of genocide primarily in the late 1980s.
The majority of the Khanaqin and Kifri districts are Kurdish.
Iraq contains more than 200 mass graves, half of which have been discovered and unearthed. Some of those sites date back to the era of Saddam Hussein, while terrorist groups and militias made others during campaigns of mass killings.
Iraqi authorities have discovered about 98 mass graves that contain victims of the former Baathist regime, of which 76 have been unearthed. ISIS has reportedly left behind 112 mass graves, 30 of which have been cleared so far.
Sites of mass killings left by Saddam’s government tend to be very large and continue to be discovered to this day.
Human Rights groups say that 300,000 people were executed during Saddam’s rule and buried in mass graves in different parts of the country during the decades of the Baath Party’s rule.