Iraqi soldiers have found two mass graves containing the bodies of people slaughtered by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group during the extremists’ control of a desert town west of the country.
“The Iraqi army found two mass graves in Rutbah containing the bodies of members of the security forces and of civilians,” a captain in the army’s 1st division said Thursday.
Rutbah, a small town in Anbar Province, was retaken from Daesh in May last year.
The military official said the graves could have been dug as soon as Daesh took control of the town in mid-2014 and began executing civilians and security forces to wreak havoc.
The mayor of Rutba, situated about 390 kilometers west of Baghdad, said one of the graves was located in central parts of the city which used to dump waste and the other was discovered on a southern neighborhood.
Imad Meshaal said more than two dozen could be dumped in the graves, adding that the bodies have “bullet impacts.”
“We don’t know the exact number of bodies because we are leaving this work to a forensic team but we expect there are about 25,” he said.
Rutba was a strategic location for Daesh terrorists due to its location on the road to Jordan.
Iraq managed to liberate key areas in the sprawling Anbar Province from Daesh last year, including the capital of Ramadi and the city of Fallujah, which is near Baghdad.
After liberating key areas in Anbar, Iraqi forces began a long-anticipated operation to purge terrorists from Mosul, the country’s second largest city which was captured by the Takfiris in the summer of 2014.
The Iraqi military and allies have fully liberated the eastern part of the Mosul and the battle continues for the recapture of the neighborhoods on the western edge of the Tigris River.
Iraq has discovered dozens of mass graves in areas that have been retaken from Daesh.