Erbil – Last Monday, a mass grave was discovered by Iraqi security forces south of Mosul. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the excavation likely contains the bodies of at least 300 former police officers, who were executed by the Islamic State (ISIS).
Witnesses said that at the end of October, ISIS presumably massacred several hundred former policemen that they had been holding as prisoners. The recently discovered cadavers evidently match the detained men.
“This is another piece of evidence of the horrific mass murders by ISIS of former law enforcement officers,” said Joe Stork, the Deputy Middle East Director at HRW. “ISIS should be held accountable for these crimes against humanity.”
Human Rights Watch visited the mass grave on November 12. HRW researchers documented four exposed corpses, as well as piles of trash covering the corpses. The area had a strong, foul smell.
The policemen were apparently interned in a 100-meter-long trench on the outskirts Hammam al-Alil village. The site was previously used as an Iraqi military training ground. Iraqi security forces pushed ISIS out of the Hammam al-Alil on November 7.
Ammar, a 31-year-old laborer from the nearby village of Rasif, said that on the night of October 28, he saw ISIS militants drive four large trucks through the agricultural college, carrying 100 to 125 men, some of whom he recognized as former policemen.
Minutes later he heard automatic gunfire and cries of distress. The next night, Ammar saw ISIS militants bring around the same four trucks, carrying between 130 and 145 men. Minutes later he again heard automatic gunfire and panicked screams.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
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