Mass grave of civilians executed by Islamic State found in Iraq’s Kirkuk

Iraqi authorities exhume a mass grave in Tikrit.

Kirkuk ( A mass grave including human remains of civilians, executed by Islamic State members, was found in southwest of Kirkuk, a security source from the province said on Saturday.

Speaking to Almaalomah website, the source said, “security troops ran into a mass grave including remains of five civilians, executed by Islamic State member in Hawija town, southwest of Kirkuk.”

The bodies, according to the source, “seemed to have been shot in the heads.” The remains were transferred to forensic medicine department to identify them.

Thousands of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the militant group, previously in December, however, observers warn that the group still poses a security threat with sleeper cells.

A report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said 94 Iraqis were killed, while 163 others were wounded due to Violence and armed conflicts during the month of May.

As many as 3,298 civilians were killed and 4,781 others were wounded in 2017, excluding Anbar civilian casualty figures for November and December, which are not available, UNAMI said in a report in December.

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