A mass burial grave has been discovered in Iraq contain the remains of 15 Shiite truck drivers killed by Sunni militants. Iraqi officials report the grave was located in the nation’s volatile northern Kurdistan region, according to the Associated Press.
Officials also claim attacks “killed 17 people, including four Shiite militiamen and a Sunni tribal chief, while a mass grave in the north was found to contain the bodies of 15 Shiite truck drivers killed by Sunni militants.”
The Associated Press reports the truck drivers were abducted about three months ago by Sunni militants.
Area residents say volunteers and nurses excavated the bodies.
Since the uprising of the Islamic State thousands of families in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq have fled for their lives. Most are in desperate need of food, water, and medicine, according to World Vision’s emergency response team on the ground.
“We are gravely concerned about increasing violence in the Middle East and its effects on children,” said Wynn Flaten, World Vision’s response director in Iraq. “It’s especially concerning that this most recent wave has targeted Christians and other minorities. We know that when religious freedom is crushed, so are many of the rights that allow children and communities to flourish.”
Publication date: September 5, 2014