Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi troops have run into a mass grave, composed of relics of army and police personnel in southwestern Kirkuk, the military media reported on Friday.
“A mass grave composed of relics of 50 army and police personnel was found in al-Bakara village in Hawija. They were executed by Islamic State,” the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said on Friday.
“All legal measures were taken to open the grave and check the relics,” the statement added.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and the Joint Operations Command announced on September 21, the launch of first phase of operations to liberate Hawija and eastern Shirqat, north of Salahuddin. Federal Police, Rapid Response and the pro-government Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) took part in the attack, according to the command.
Iraqi troops managed to retake several IS strongholds including Mosul and Tal Afar in Nineveh, Hawija in Kirkuk and Annah in Anbar. Only Qaim and neighboring Rawa currently remain in IS grip.
On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced on Thursday the launch of operations to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns. Both towns have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”.