Seven mass graves found in Shingal

Ninewa- First mass grave in Shingal’s Kojo village exhumed, March 15, 2019 Photo: Ibrahim Ezidi

Ibrahim Ezidi- Ninewa

Local residents found 7 mass graves in the predominantly Ezidi populated town of Shingal (Sinjar), Ninewa believed to be containing the bodies of dozens of Ezidi victims slaughtered by the Islamic State (IS) group.

The mass graves were discovered last week in Solagh village east of Shingal.

Shakar Mulhim, Shingal’s Gr Ozer sub-district commissioner told KirkukNow, “After we were informed by local residents about the possible existence of mass graves there, we immediately started our investigations and found mass 7 mass graves in the area.”

According to residents, IS militants mass slaughtered an estimated 75 Ezidis near the village after they swept into Shingal in August 2014.

“A Shiite person and 74 Ezidis including women and children were summarily executed and dumped in ditches there’, said Mulhim.

According to statistics by directorate of Ezidi affairs in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s ministry of Awqaf and religious affairs, more than 73 mass graves have been found in Shingal in addition to dozens of individual graves of IS victims who were killed in 2014.

The statistics also indicate that 1,293 Ezidis died, while the fate of approximately 3,000 more, mostly women, kidnapped by the group remains unknown.

Ninewa- Ezidis lay flowers at the site of first mass grave unearthed in Shingal, March 15, 2019  Photo: Ibrahim Ezidi

Shakar Mulhim said that recent rainfall has affected some of the mass graves and called on the Iraqi Martyrs Foundation to include the newly-found graves with those planned to be exhumed.

He indicated that “a specialized team from Baghdad is due to arrive in the area soon.”

First mass grave of Ezidi victims in Shingal was unearthed by forensic teams on March 15, 2019, after Ezidis staged demonstrations to protest the slow pace of exhumations.

The Ezidi community along with the Christians, Kakayis and Turrkmens were subjected to numerous atrocities at the hands of IS after their town, located 120 km west of Mosul, was controlled by the group on August 3, 2014. Shingal was retaken from IS in November 2015.

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