Baghdad, November 12: The Islamic State (IS) terror outfit in the name of religion and so-called Jihad has killed thousands of innocent civilians just to gain control over the country. Notably, Iraqi forces on Saturday found a mass grave containing the remains of at least 400 civilians murdered by the Islamic State terrorist organization in the disputed Iraqi province of Kirkuk.
The Governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Saeed during a press conference said that the mass grave was discovered in the al-Bakara area, about 3 kilometres north of the city of Hawija in Kirkuk, Iraq. "We are standing here, where at least 400 civilians were dragged, some in their red jumpsuits, and brutally executed by ISIS," he said.
The governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Saeed also called on the Iraqi government and the Human Rights Commission to come to the mass grave sites and conduct DNA examinations to identify the victims. Meanwhile, Colonel Murtada Abbas of the 60th Brigade in the Iraqi military said witnesses to the executions led them to the graves.
Earlier, in the month of March this year, Iraqi forces found a mass grave containing at least the remains of 500 people murdered by the ISIS at Badoush prison near Mosul, Iraq. Iraqi forces also found mass grave in the Hamam al-Alil area south of Mosul in November last year that an official said appeared to hold the remains of at least 25 bodies.
Kirkuk is an oil-rich province in the northern part of Iraq. ISIS forces drove the Iraqi military from the capital city of Kirkuk in 2014, however, later Kurdish forces in turn defeated and pushed ISIS out of the city, which the Kurds had held for more than two years. The Iraqi government has already ordered Kurdish forces to hand over the city. But when the Kurds refused to hand over the city, the Iraqi military moved in and took control of the city in mid-October.
The takeover of Kirkuk was ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who called on Kurdish Peshmerga forces to cooperate with them. His order came just weeks after a Kurdish referendum for independence claimed Kirkuk as their own city. The city is among the most coveted of disputed territories in the region and falls outside the internationally recognized autonomous Kurdish region in the northwest of Iraq.