A mass grave containing approximately 300 bodies thought to be Iraqi policemen murdered by ISIS was found 30km south-east of Mosul.
Islamic State fighters carry out mass executions. (Photo: © Screenshot from video)
A mass grave containing the bodies of policemen murdered by Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) has been unearthed in Iraq according to Human Rights Watch.
Local witnesses told HRW they saw ISIS round up men and boys of fighting age and separate out those who were former policemen.
A witness, “Ammar,” himself a former policeman who escaped detection, described how ISIS rounded up an estimated 2,000 families from the area and force marched them north towards Mosul. He said they separated out former policemen and drove them away. When the group got to Hammam al-Alil he said he escaped and hid in an abandoned apartment.
Human Rights Watch writes:
“On the night of October 28, at about 8 p.m., Ammar said he saw ISIS fighters drive four large KIA trucks carrying a total of 100 to 125 men, some whom he recognized as former policemen, past the agricultural college. Minutes later he heard automatic gunfire and cries of distress. The next night, he saw ISIS fighters bring the same four trucks, carrying between 130 and 145 men. Minutes later he again heard automatic gunfire and screams.”
This took place for several nights in a row at the end of October and the story is corroborated by other witnesses who gave similar reports.
The grave, containing at least 300 bodies, was found at the beginning of November an estimated 30km south-east of Mosul on the outskirts of the village of Hammam al-Alil. Iraqi Security Forces recaptured the town on November 7 and discovered the grave at an Iraqi military training facility next to the village. Several corpses were visible and others were covered in trash.
HRW also reports ISIS has been rounding up civilians for use as human shields in addition to massacring former members of Iraq’s security forces.
Texts sent from an informant within Mosul to Iraqi Intelligence Services reveal that ISIS is split internally due to paranoia and panic as Iraqi security services and other armed factions close in. This tallies with intelligence assessments from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that ISIS is stepping up executions to get rid of anyone who might betray the group to the Iraqi army.