Mass graves of Islamic State victims discovered in Anbar

Representational photo.

Anbar ( Iraqi army forces ran into two mass graves containing the bodies of unknown victims killed by Islamic State militants in Anbar province, a security source there said Thursday.

The source told Alsumaria News that a force from the army’s 1st division found the graves in a sanitary dump behind al-Askari district in the town of Rutba, 310 km west of Ramadi.

The source added that a team of forensic officials would arrive later to open up the graves to identify people the corpses belonged to.

Several mass graves have been found as Iraqi security forces recaptured several areas held by IS militants since 2014. Islamic State regularly executed security agents and civilians collaborating with security or violating its extreme religious rules.

The group has been holding a few hideouts in western Anbar since 2014 that are still awaiting an official order for security operations. Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition fighter jets regularly carry out airstrikes against the group’s locations in those areas.

Battles between Islamic State and Iraqi troops have displaced at least 191.000 civilians, according to government data. The extremist group has regularly targeted and executed people attempting to flee areas under its control, according to citizens and aid groups.

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