Iraq resumes exhumation of Yazidi mass graves in Nineveh

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Sinyar City NRC / TOM PEYRE-COSTA (FILE PHOTO) 11/8/2018

The Iraqi authorities have resumed this Saturday the exhumation of two mass graves of members of the Yazidi minority executed by the terrorist organization Islamic State in the province of Nineveh.

The ceremony took place in Solagh, south of Mount Sinyar, where the authorities found a grave with the remains of 70 women, some pregnant, according to the head of the exhumation tasks of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government, Sirwan Jalal.

The authorities will shortly begin a second exhumation, in a mass grave in the nearby village of Kocho with the remains of more than 50 men and boys from the village, reports the Kurdish news agency Rudaw.

The head of the United Nations team investigating the crimes of the Islamic State in Iraq, Karim Khan, thanked the Yazidi community for their patience in their search for justice for the atrocities committed by the Islamic State.

“The soil of Iraq is littered with sites where civilians were massacred by the Islamic State. These crimes must be investigated and those responsible must be held accountable to justice,” he said. “The crimes of the Islamic State will not be forgotten.”

Islamic State declared a caliphate in late July 2014 in which it dedicated itself to expelling minority religions from the area for considering them infidels, as well as threatening them with death for not converting to Islam.

This persecution caused the Yazidis, believers in Zoroastrianism, to take refuge in the mountains of Sinyar, where between 35,000 and 50,000 people would be found, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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