Iraq Exhumes Bodies from Mass Grave at Site of Badoush Prison Massacre by ISIS

A hand is seen as forensic teams recover dead bodies from 12 suspected Islamic State mass graves in Tikrit, Iraq, on Monday. The city was retaken from the extremists, who may have massacred as many as 1,700 soldiers during the group’s push through Iraqi territory last summer. | REUTERS

The remains of 123 victims of one of the worst massacres in Iraq by the jihadist group Islamic State have been exhumed from a mass grave near Mosul.

DNA samples will be compared with those collected from possible relatives in an attempt to identify them.

The victims were among more than 600 mostly Shia Muslim inmates at Badoush prison who were killed by IS in 2014.

IS militants drove them to a ravine and shot them dead after attacking the prison and freeing their fellow Sunnis.

The group once controlled 88,000 sq km (34,000 sq miles) of land stretching from eastern Iraq to western Syria and imposed its brutal rule on almost eight million people.

The liberation of that territory exposed the magnitude of the abuses inflicted by the group, including summary killings, torture, amputations, ethno-sectarian attacks, and the rape and sexual slavery of women and girls.

More than 200 mass graves containing the remains of up to 12,000 people have so far been discovered in Iraq, according to the United Nations, which has concluded that IS committed acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

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