Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the Daesh terrorist group has executed possibly hundreds of detainees in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul and buried them in a mass grave that could be the largest one discovered in the country so far.
Witnesses told the New York-based rights organization that the victims, including several members of Iraqi security forces, were executed between June 2014 and May or June 2015, with their bodies dumped in a sinkhole at a site in western Mosul.
Terrorists had also laid landmines and booby-traps in the mass grave in an attempt to “maximize harm to Iraqis,” according to Lama Fakih, HRW deputy Middle East director. She described the mass grave as “a grotesque symbol of ISIS’s (Daesh) cruel and depraved conduct – a crime of a monumental scale.”
“If exhumation is possible, the process should be carried out under international standards,” the HRW said.
Iraqi forces took control of the site in mid-February 2017. Human Rights Watch visited the site on March 7, but was unable to inspect the grave due to the landmines.
The United Nations estimated last month that removing all mines, explosive devices and booby traps left by Daesh in and around Mosul will cost as much as 50 million dollars.
This is only one of dozens of Daesh mass graves found in Iraq and Syria, but, according to the report, it could be the largest. It was not possible to determine the exact number of the victims.