Mass graves of suspected Islamic State massacre victims found

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BAGHDAD – Iraqi security forces said on in Baghdad they have found 14 mass graves since recapturing the of Tikrit last week.

The spoke on condition of anonymity said the graves contained the bodies of the ‘worst massacre perpetrated by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group’.

They said the bodies included, soldiers captured by the militants after fleeing a military base, during Islamic State’ lightning offensive in June 2014.

The said the victims had been thrown at random into the graves at ruler Saddam Hussein’ complex on the banks of the Tigris River.

They recalled the Sunni jihadist group claimed at the to have executed 1,700 Shiite soldiers had surrendered to it after fleeing nearby Camp Speicher.

The said various photographs published by the group showed large groups of young men being rounded up and driven in the backs of trucks to fields.

They said the men were later made to lie on the ground in rows as gunmen apparently opened fire on them.

They said a later released showed other men being hustled to the riverside one by one, beaten, shot in the head and thrown in the water.
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The officials said specialist teams have commenced removing the bodies the graves.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said testimony a survivour and satellite imagery confirmed the execution of 560 to 770 men, all apparently captured soldiers, at the complex.

The group said the killings were the worst of numerous atrocities during a rapid offensive that saw the group seize much of Sunni Arab northern and western Iraq as security forces collapsed. (dpa/NAN)

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