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Nearly 90 bodies exhumed at Daesh massacre site: Iraq

A soldier prays at a mass grave for Iraqi soldiers from Camp Speicher who were killed by Daesh militants in the presidential compound of the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in Tikrit, Iraq, on April 6, 2015. (Photo by Reuters)

Iraqi forensic specialists and international activists have found a mass grave containing the remains of more than seven dozen victims of a June 2014 massacre by Daesh Takfiri terrorists at an air force camp in the country’s north-central province of Salahuddin.

A provincial police source, requesting not to be identified, said experts from the Iraqi Health Ministry and Human Rights Watch activists had recently found 89 bodies inside former dictator Saddam Hussein’s palace compound in Tikrit, located 140 kilometers northwest of the capital Baghdad.

The source added that information obtained from captured Takfiri Daesh terrorists helped locate the mass grave, noting that the corpses will be sent to the forensic department in order to be identified.

On June 12, 2014, Daesh terrorists killed around 1,700 Iraqi air force cadets after kidnapping them from Camp Speicher, a former US base. There were reportedly around 4,000 unarmed cadets in the camp when it came under attack by Daesh militants.

Following the abductions, the attackers took the victims to the complex of presidential palaces and killed them. The terrorists also threw some of the bodies into a river. 

The massacre was filmed by Daesh and broadcast on social media.

An investigation committee later revealed that 57 members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party aided Takfiri Daesh terrorists in the massacre.

On August 21, 2016, Iraqi judiciary officials hanged 36 men convicted of involvement in the carnage.

Tikrit was recaptured from Daesh in March 2015. During clean-up operations in the northern part of the city, Iraqi forces found the location of the 2014 carnage.

Multiple bomb attacks claim lives in, near Iraqi capital

Meanwhile, at least two people have been killed and nearly a dozen others injured in a series of bomb attacks that ripped through areas in and around Baghdad.

Police said a civilian lost his life and five others sustained injuries when an improvised explosive device went off inside a parking lot in the capital’s central neighborhood of Bab al-Moatham on Sunday noon.

A sound bomb also exploded near a security checkpoint in the Zayouna neighborhood of eastern Baghdad, leaving a civilian injured.

Iraqis clean up debris at the site of an attack in Baghdad's Abu Dshir neighborhood on January 18, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Elsewhere in the town of Taji, located 30 kilometers north of Baghdad, a bomb blast left one dead and four others injured.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they have the hallmark of those carried out by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) says a total of 386 Iraqis were killed and another 1,066 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict last month. 

According to the UN mission, the number of civilian fatalities stood at 385 in December 2016. Violence also left 1,060 people – excluding police personnel – injured.

A great portion of the fatalities was recorded in the northern province of Nineveh, where 208 civilians were killed. Terrorist attacks also left another 511 injured there. 

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