Investigation into Mass Grave of Christians Near Mosul

ICC Note: A local news report in Iraq has indicated that a mass grave of 40 Christians has been found in Mosul, ISIS’s former stronghold in Iraq. The grave was found by a militia group, Hashd al-Sha’abi, and was confirmed by a source within the Syriac Orthodox Church. Many are pointing to ISIS as the responsible party. However, the Deputy Governor of Nineveh for Christian Affairs reported in the Baghdad Post that the grave was for victims killed 30 years ago. The circumstances of the grave is under investigation. 

03/07/2018 Iraq (Slight Magazine) – A mass grave holding the remains of 40 Christians has been found in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, reports Iraqi News.

Iraq’s second city was held by the so-called Islamic State group for three years until its liberation by government forces in 2017. After capturing the city in 2014, IS warned Christians to “leave or face execution”.

The grave, in the west of the city, was found by security forces. According to the Syriac Orthodox Church, it contained the remains of “Christians who were kidnapped from the region…Some of them were women and children. They had small Christian crosses with them”.

Meanwhile, in Syria, desecrated Christian graves and family tombs have been found in Harasta, a town just outside the capital Damascus, reports The New Arab, which has published a series of graphic pictures showing decomposed corpses in opened coffins.

According to church and municipal officials, the graves were looted during the town’s occupation by Syrian government forces. Coffins were found opened and devoid of the valuable items customarily buried alongside Syrian Christian families, The New Arabsaid.

“The regime dug up more than 300 Christian graves and inflicted serious damage to the tombs and corpses lying inside as they searched for precious stones and jewellery,” said the head of the town’s council, Husam al-Beiruni. He added that Christians had lived in Harasta “for more than 100 years before the violence that forced them to flee”.

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