Mass graves containing as many as 1,700 Iraqi soldiers killed by ISIS have been discovered in Tikrit. Officials believe the soldiers were killed last summer as ISIS took over Camp Speicher, a base for Shi’ite soldiers.
Reuters reports the graves are now being excavated by forensics teams.
Iraqi health official Khalid al-Atbi said, "We dug up the first mass grave site today. Until now we found at least 20 bodies. Initial indications show indisputably that they were from the Speicher victims.”
"It was a heartbreaking scene," he continued. "We couldn't prevent ourselves from breaking down in tears. What savage barbarian could kill 1,700 persons in cold blood?"
The soldiers were previously classified as missing.
“At least the families will soon know the fate of their sons and cousins,” said Ali Hamad, an Iraqi civilian who lost his cousin in the Speicher takeover.
Publication date: April 8, 2015