A mass grave containing the bodies of tens of civilians, including women and the elderly, killed by Takfiri Daesh terrorists has been found in western Mosul.
“Security troops discovered a mass grave in al-Shifa district in western Mosul,” a local source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al Sumaria News on Wednesday.
“The grave contained relics of 60 civilians, including elderly people and 23 women who worked as employees and lawyers as their ID cards found in their possession showed,” the source added.
Daesh “shot the civilians dead in the head. They were transferred to forensic medicine department in Wadi Hajar to identify them and hand over their bodies to their relatives,” the source noted.
Several mass graves have been found in the areas formerly controlled by Daesh militants since Iraqi forces launched their major offensive in October 2016 to liberate Mosul, the terror group’s last urban stronghold in the Arab state.
Iraqi government forces regained control of eastern Mosul in January and are now in the middle of a new push to retake the group’s remaining enclave in the city’s western sector.
Meanwhile, witnesses say dozens of Daesh militants have closed the streets leading to Mosul’s Grand al-Nuri Mosque over the past two days in preparation for a final showdown in the battle.
The iconic mosque is the site where Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a “caliphate” in July 2014, the year the terror group began its campaign of death and destruction in Iraq.
Al-Nuri Mosque has become a symbolic focus of the battle, with Iraqi forces hoping to capture it during the holy month of Ramadan.
Daesh has increasingly resorted to using civilians as human shield as the siege is getting tighter. Over the past few days, Daesh militants ordered dozens of families living in the Zanjili district in western Mosul to move into the Old City to prevent them from escaping toward the city.
Over 200,000 civilians currently live in dire conditions under Daesh control in western Mosul, without having access to food, water and medical services.
Reports say almost 760,000 people have already escaped the embattled Iraqi city over the past months.
The Mosul operation has taken longer than planned as Takfiri elements are dug in among civilians and are fighting back with car bombs, booby traps, mortar fire and snipers.