Federal Police discover mass grave in Kirkuk

Kirkuk, 19 October 2020 – a mass grave discovered in Riadh subdistrict – photo: KirkukNow

Karwan Salehi - Kirkuk

A mass grave containing about 50 corpses has been discovered by the Iraqi Federal Police in southwest Kirkuk.

The discovery was made at the Riadh subdistrict as the Federal Police was sweeping the area after obtaining information about the mass grave.

Major General Muhammad Jawwad Sa’idi, commander of the Armoured Division of the Federal Police, told KirkukNow: “We were able to locate the mass grave at the Dawud Aluka village in Riadh subdistrict thanks to intelligence gathering. It contains the bodies 40 to 50 persons.”

He added that the grave also contains rifle magazines and suspects that the Aluko corpses belong to victims of ISIS.

ISIS took over swathes of Iraq including parts of south and southwest of Kirkuk province in 2014 until they were driven out in late 2017.

General Sa’idi said that the villagers were informed not to approach the mass grave until the authorities exhume the corpses for forensics.

Numerous mass graves have been discovered in the past few years in the areas that were retaken from ISIS. Some of them are suspected to contain remains of missing Peshmerga soldiers.

“I can’t say whether there are remains of Peshmerga in that mass grave, because we haven’t found any attire or evidence of presence of Peshmerga, but it will be clear once samples are examined.”

According to official numbers from the Kurdistan Regional Government more than 60 Peshmerga soldiers have been captured alive by ISIS or gone missing during the three-year-war against the militants.

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