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Iraqi Hashd al-Sha’abi forces uncover 10 mass graves near Hawijah

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iraqi soldiers check a mass grave they discovered in Hamam al-Alil area on November 7, 2016, after they recaptured the area from Daesh. (Photo by AFP)

Iraqi pro-government fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have found nearly a dozen mass graves containing bodies of security forces and civilians, who are believed to have been executed by Daesh Takfiri terrorists, on the outskirts of the recently-liberated town of Hawijah in Kirkuk province. 

The media bureau of the volunteer forces, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, announced in a statement on Saturday that the grisly discovery was made during a sweep in the southwest of Hawijah, located 45 kilometers west of Kirkuk, Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network reported.

The statement added that there were women and children among the victims, noting that Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters were coordinating with competent teams in order to identify the victims.

Hashd al-Sha’abi forces find Daesh prison in Hawijah

Meanwhile, Hashd al-Sha’abi forces have discovered a detention facility in Hawijah, used by Daesh terrorists to incarcerate people and subject the detainees to various forms of torture.

This picture provided by the media bureau of Iraqi fighters of the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd al-Sha’abi) on October 7, 2017 shows the entrance to a detention facility in Hawijah, which Daesh terrorists used to incarcerate and torture people.

The commander of Hawijah liberation operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, also said on Saturday that soldiers from the Federal Police Force, the Interior Ministry's elite rapid response forces and pro-government fighters had managed to wrest control over 150 villages and hamlets in Hawijah district. They killed 385 Daesh Takfiris, including five snipers, and arrested six others during the operation.

He added that Iraqi government forces and their allies had also dismantled 95 car bombs as well as 422 explosive devices, defused five explosive belts and destroyed five bomb-making plants.

Yarallah went on to say that the forces also recovered a considerable amount of munitions, and destroyed 25 militant fortifications, 10 arms depots, 15 booby-trapped houses and ten tunnels.

Iraqi fighters from the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd al-Sha’abi) are seen riding on infantry-fighting vehicles during the advance towards villages between the northern Iraqi cities of Hawijah and Kirkuk on October 6, 2017, after the Iraqi forces retook Hawijah from Daesh a day before. (Photo by AFP)

The high-ranking Iraqi military official noted that 240 displaced people were evacuated from the conflict zones, and five militant communications centers were also destroyed.

On October 5, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraqi armed forces had liberated Hawijah, driving Daesh Takfiris out of their last bastion in Kirkuk province.

“I announce the liberation of the town of Hawijah,” Abadi said, adding, “Only the outskirts remain to be recaptured.”

Abadi described the latest gain as a “victory not just of Iraq but of the whole world.”

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