Dozens of bodies, including those of militants and civilians, have been found in a mass grave in the former ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, a local official said on Saturday.
The former de facto “capital” of the group in northern Syria, Raqqa saw the militants ousted by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in October 2017.
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Nearly 50 bodies had already been recovered from the mass grave, which could contain up to 200 bodies, Abdallah al-Eriane, a senior official with Raqa Civil Council now running the city, said.
The mass grave was located under a football pitch, close to a hospital where the militants had dug in before being chased out of the city.
Burials in haste
“It was apparently the only place available for burials, which were done in haste. The militants were holed up in the hospital,” the official said, adding that some bodies were marked with the nom de guerre of the militants while civilians just had first names.
In recent months, both Syria and Iraq have discovered mass graves in areas previously occupied by the militants. Syrian troops uncovered a mass grave containing the remains of more than 30 people killed by ISIS in Raqqa province in February. It followed two other similar finds by the Syrian army.
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