Kurds find mass grave of women while clearing Sinjar

Published November 15th, 2015 - 08:00 GMT
Kurdish and Yazidi fighters walk through Sinjar after reclaiming the town from Daesh. (AFP/Safin Hamed)
Kurdish and Yazidi fighters walk through Sinjar after reclaiming the town from Daesh. (AFP/Safin Hamed)

AFP reports that Iraqi Kurdish forces successfully took back Sinjar, a strategic town in Iraq, on Thursday. As the forces cleared bombs and traps left by Daesh, they discovered a mass grave of women.

Young Yazidi women formerly held as Daesh slaves helped direct forces to the gravesite on Saturday. The grave has not been fully excavated yet, but sources estimate that there are over 75 bodies of women - aged 40 to 80.

"It seems that the terrorist members only wanted young girls to enslave," said Miyasir Hajji, a local council member for Sinjar, to AFP. Daesh is known to buy and sell young Yazidi girls as sex slaves.

While Daesh has been pushed out of Sinjar, their dangers remain. Iraqi Kurdish forces are continuing to clear bombs and the rubble of destroyed homes. Former residents - mostly Yazidi - cannot return until bombs and active dangers are cleared.

 "Now that they've seized Sinjar, or freed Sinjar, the next phase is to go back and clear it," Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the international operation against Daesh, said in a conference on Friday.

In August 2014, Daesh forces took over Sinjar and murdered over 2,000 Yazidis.The town is a major stop on the main highway that connects Mosul and Raqqa - Daesh's two main strongholds. Daesh is now entirely out of the city.


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