Mass grave with remains of six people, killed by Islamic State, found in Hawija

Iraqi authorities exhume a mass grave in Tikrit.

Hawija ( The pro-government paramilitary troops have run into a mass grave containing human remains of six people, southwest of Kirkuk.

A statement by the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said on Wednesday, “troops of the second and 56 brigades ran into a mass grave containing remains of six bodies in al-Bakara base in Hawija, Kirkuk.”

The victims, according to the statement, “had been executed by Islamic State members.”

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.

Thousands of IS 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.

Security troops ran into tens of mass graves at regions recaptured from IS. More than 70 graves, including Yazidis killed by IS, were also found.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared in July victory over IS militants who had held the second largest Iraqi city since 2014. However, Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses threat against stability in the country.

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