Iraq urges world assistance with mass graves’ exhumations

Representational photo.

Baghdad ( Iraq has asked for international assistance regarding the handling of mass graves occasionally discovered since the launch of anti-Islamic State operations, citing insufficient government capabilities.

The High Commission for Human Rights it “demands the international community to support Iraq in the issue of mass graves located at areas liberated from Daesh (Islamic State)”.

The organization’s spokesman, Ali al-Bayati, said in a statement that military operations to recapture regions in Nineveh, Kirkuk, Salahuddin, Anbar and Babil provinces from the militants “had witnessed the discovery of large numbers of mass graves containing the relics of hundreds of victims” a situation which the spokesman said “requires exceptional efforts that exceed the current government capabilities”.

Bayati said Iraq needed international support in the form of capabilities and expertise in exhuming the relics, taking DNA samples and identifying victims families. He also urged local authorities to ensure the safety of those locations from random exhumation.

Iraq government and paramilitary troops have regularly run into mass graves of civilians and security personnel executed by Islamic State militants since operations launched to retake areas held by the group since 2014.

IS executed civilians for attempting to escape the group’s domains and for collaborating with security forces.

Iraqi forces are close to retaking the last two Islamic State havens in Iraq: western Anbar towns of Rawa and Qaim.


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