December 24, 2014

ISIS Loses Hardan Leave Behind Mass Graves

Yahoo:

After he fled from this tiny northern Iraqi hamlet four months ago, Hayder Khalef got panicked phone calls from his relatives who had remained behind. They were at that moment being led by Islamic State group gunmen toward a checkpoint on the edge of town.

"If you don't hear from us, you'll find our bodies near the checkpoint," Khalef said they told him in the calls.

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He is back in his hometown for the first time since, after Iraqi Kurdish fighters last week drove out the extremists holding the village. Khalef and a few other residents who escaped followed the Kurds in, hoping to discover what happened to hundreds of their relatives and neighbors who vanished after the jihadis overran Hardan in early August.

They fear they know where they are: four mounds of recently dug-up earth. The sites have not yet been excavated, but Khalef and others are convinced they are mass graves, possibly holding dozens of dead. From the loose top soil, they and Kurdish fighters pulled out pieces of clothing as an Associated Press reporter watched

The photographs of the scene are here.

By Howie at 09:38 AM | Comments |