Islamic State mass grave uncovered near Mosul

IS is alleged to have killed up to 600 inmates, a lot of them Shia Muslims, when it seized Mosul in 2014. Iraqi lawmaker Vian Dakhil said in 2014 that the jihadists held more than 500 Yazidi women at Badush.

Iraqi paramilitary forces said Saturday that they had uncovered a mass grave with the bodies of hundreds of people who were executed by "Islamic State" (IS) militants at Badush prison near Mosul.

ISIS has also used large-scale attacks in an effort to distract from its losses as Iraqi forces battle to retake all of Mosul, the country's second-largest city, from the group.

The prison was recaptured by forces from the Hashed al-Shaabi - an umbrella group dominated by Iran-backed Shia militias - who discovered the bodies. Although the number is still unconfirmed by independent sources, the Iraqi authorities and the command of the People's Mobilization said their statements were based on data provided by an global humanitarian organization, according to which, the IS executed up to 600 prisoners there on June 10, 2014.

"Around more than a third of the right bank (west Mosul) is under the control of our units", Staff Major General Maan al-Saadi, of Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), said on Sunday.

"A large mass grave containing the remains of around 500 civilian prisoners in [Badush] prison who were executed by [IS] gangs after they controlled the prison during their occupation of Mosul" was found by Hashed forces, the military said, as cited by AFP.

IS abuses at the jail did not end with executing its inmates.

The extremists targeted the Yazidi religious minority in a brutal campaign of executions, kidnappings and rape, killing men and holding women and girls as sex slaves.

Saadi also noted that CTS forces were now fighting in the western Mosul areas of al-Jadida and al-Aghawat, stressing that the battle was expected to be completed shortly.

Iraqi military forces seized control of Badoush prison from Daesh, also known as ISIS, this week.

"We are waiting for forensic teams and human rights officials to begin unearthing the grave to uncover the whole story of how the ruthless criminal Daesh (Islamic State) killed them in cold blood only because they were from a certain sect", Nouri said.

  • Leroy Wright