Iraqi forces have found mass graves containing at least 400 people at a military base near the city of Hawijah in the northern province of Kirkuk.
The governor of Kirkuk said Saturday that the string of grisly discoveries was made some three kilometers from the city, a former bastion of Daesh that the Takfiri terrorists had “turned into an execution ground.”
“Not less than 400 people were executed,” said Rakan Said, adding that some of the victims were clad in the uniform of prisoners while others wore civilian clothing.
Last month, Iraqi army forces, backed by allied fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, dislodged the Takfiri terrorists from Hawijah, located about 240 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, in a sweeping offensive.
General Mortada al-Luwaibi said the mass graves were unearthed “thanks to witness accounts from local residents” given to the Iraqi military.
Saad Abbas, a farmer from the area, said that the Takfiri terrorists could be seen “driving around in cars with their prisoners” during the three years of their control over the city.
“They would shoot them and then throw them to the ground or burn their bodies,” he said.
Daesh has gained notoriety for barbarity, heinous atrocities and sacrilegious acts. The terrorists of the group have been accused of committing gross human rights violations and war crimes in the areas they control in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
According to the United Nations, more than 21,000 Iraqis have lost their lives or sustained injuries due to the acts of violence and terrorism in Iraq since Daesh launched its campaign of terror in the embattled Arab country in 2014.