100 decapitated bodies found in mass grave, Iraqi military says

MOSUL, Iraq, Iraq’s Joint Military Command said a mass grave with the decapitated bodies of 100 civilians has been discovered inside of a school near a town south of Mosul previously controlled by the Islamic State.

Iraq’s military said the 100 decapitated bodies of civilians were found in a mass grave at a school near the town of Hammam al-Alil, which is about 18 miles south of Mosul. In this image, an Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga convoy moves through positions in Mount Zardak, near east Mosul, as they take part in an operation against the Islamic State on Oct. 17. Photo by Shvan Harki/UPI | License Photo

The discovery was made in the School of Agriculture on the outskirts of Hammam al-Alil, which was captured by Iraqi security forces on Monday, CNN reported. Iraq is sending special teams to investigate the mass grave.

The Islamic State, also known as Daesh, ISIL and ISIS, is accused of carrying out war crimes and crimes against humanity, such as indiscriminate killings, rape and genocide.

“Gangs of ISIS militants continue to commit crimes against our people,” Iraq’s Joint Military Command said in a statement referring to the mass grave discovery.

Hammam al-Alil is about 18 miles south of Mosul. There were an estimated 5,000 IS militants in Mosul prior to the start of Iraq’s offensive to recapture the city on Oct. 17.

On Monday, Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq said the town of Bashiqa, near Mosul, is under its full control after battle against the Islamic State.

Mosul is considered one of the most important battles in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq, as it is considered the militant Islamist group’s last major stronghold in the country. The United States recently said it was preparing an offensive to remove the militant Islamist organization from its other stronghold, Syria’s Raqqa city.

By Andrew V. Pestano