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Neglected Yazidi mass graves finally exhumed in Iraq

Six months after the exhumation of the last Yazidi mass graves, those of the Yazidi mothers are being exhumed in Sinjar, which contain over 80 mass graves.
Staff at Iraqi forensics lab Medico-Legal Directorate in eastern Baghdad inspect samples on June 19, 2019. - The bones, recently exhumed from mass graves in the Yazidi stronghold of Sinjar in northwest Iraq, will be compared with blood samples from surviving members of the community to help determine the fates of those still missing after the Islamic State group's 2014 sweep across their villages. Entire families were massacred, boys recruited to fight and women and girls forced into "sex slavery" in what t

As traditional Yazidi music played and religious sayings resonated Oct. 24, national teams began exhuming a mass grave that held the remains of victims of the genocide against the Yazidis from the village of Kocho, in the southern Sinjar district in the western Ninevah governorate. This area, with the largest Yazidi presence in Iraq and the world, was invaded and controlled by the Islamic State (IS) in 2014.

These graves are known as the “Mothers’ Cemetery,” and are located in the Solagh area at the entrance to Sinjar district. The exhumation process was carried out by a national team in cooperation with the Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD), the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Ministry of Martyrs in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in the presence of Yazidi figures, representatives of government institutions and the clergy of the Yazidi Spiritual Council, in addition to figures from various religious components in the area.

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