Mass grave found at prison near Mosul

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Mar 2017 07:26:13


BAGHDAD,

Mar 12,

(AFP),

IRAQI paramilitary forces announced on Saturday that they had discovered a mass grave at Badush prison near Mosul containing the remains of hundreds of people executed by the Islamic State group.
Iraqi forces have found dozens of mass graves containing hundreds of bodies as they pushed IS back in more than two years of heavy fighting, including during the operation to retake Mosul.


IS reportedly killed up to 600 people after seizing Badush in 2014, and was also said to have held hundreds of kidnapped women from Iraq’s Yazidi minority at the facility.
The Iraqi military said that forces from the Hashed al-Shaabi -- an umbrella group of pro-government forces that are dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias -- were among the units that recaptured the prison from the jihadists. Hashed forces found “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,” the military said.
The Hashed did not say how they reached that figure, which could not be independently confirmed, but it is in keeping with accounts of IS killing hundreds of inmates from Badush.


According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), IS gunmen executed up to 600 inmates from the prison on June 10, 2014, forcing them to kneel along a nearby ravine and then shooting them with assault rifles, an account also contained in a United Nations report.


IS abuses at the jail did not end with executing its inmates. Iraqi lawmaker Vian Dakhil said in 2014 that the jihadists were holding more than 500 Yazidi women at Badush. IS targeted the Yazidi religious minority in a brutal campaign of executions, kidnapping and rape, killing men and holding women and girls as sex slaves.


Iraqi forces retake over a third of west Mosul: IRAQI security forces have retaken more than a third of west Mosul from the Islamic State group since launching an assault on the
area last month, a commander said on Sunday.


“Around more than a third of the right bank (west Mosul) is under the control of our units,” Staff Major General Maan al-Saadi told AFP. Mosul is split by the Tigris River, and its eastern side is referred to as the left
bank, while the western is known as the right back.