Mass graves found near ex-IS stronghold: Syria state media

Mass graves found near ex-IS stronghold: Syria state media
AFP

Damascus (AFP) – Seven mass graves containing hundreds of unidentified bodies have been unearthed near the former Islamic State group stronghold of Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, official news agency SANA said.

Most of the more than 100 bodies recovered so far at the site appear to “have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment before execution,” it said, accusing IS of killing the victims.

Work was under way to retrieve the rest of the bodies from the graves in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, SANA said in its report published late Tuesday. 

It released a video showing forensic experts in protective clothing recovering remains, and corpses laid out on the ground in a row under white sheets.

“After examining the remains, it appears that most of the people were executed by bullets to the head, while their hands were tied,” said an unidentified member of the military who appears in the video.

IS has been held responsible for multiple atrocities during its reign of terror, including mass executions and decapitations.

In recent months, both Syria and Iraq have discovered a number of mass graves in areas previously occupied by the jihadists.

IS proclaimed a “caliphate” over swathes of the two countries in 2014, but has since lost almost all the territory it once held.

Albu Kamal, which lies in the Euphrates Valley near the border with Iraq, was the last major town that IS controlled fully before losing it in November 2017.

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