Authorities in Iraq’s Nineveh said that 23 bodies, believed to be of Islamic State (IS) militants, were retrieved under the debris of devastated buildings in the provincial capital of Mosul.
During the past week, the municipality of Mosul has been removing the rubble of dozens of devastated buildings on the bank of the Tigris River in the Ras al-Kour neighborhood in the city’s old city centre, Brigadier General Hussam Khalil from the Civil Defence told Xinhua news agency.
Khalil added that the 23 decomposed corpses werebelieved to be IS terrorists who were killed during the battles to liberate the city in mid-2017, Khalil said.
The provincial authorities have carried out campaigns to retrieve hundreds of bodies for people killed and buried under rubble.
They are either IS militants or civilians who were prevented by the extremist militants from leaving their homes during the fierce battles and heavy bombardment of the city, which is located some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
In July 2017, Iraq officially declared the liberation of Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, from the IS after nearly nine months of fighting to dislodge the extremists from their last major stronghold.
The IS had taken over Mosul in 2014 after the terror group defeated the Iraqi Army.
After seizing control of the city, the IS executed some 4,000 Iraqi Security Force prisoners, and dumped their bodies in the single largest known mass grave in Iraq, at the “Khafsa Sinkhole”.
This mass grave was uncovered during the Battle of Mosul (2016-17).