Floods wash away remains of Ezidi victims in Shingal mass graves

December 6, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Remains of Ezidi victims found in Two mass graves, 02-12-2017, Photo: Hashd al-Sha’bi Media

Ammar Aziz- Ninewa

Flash floods triggered by the recent heavy rainfall have unearthed the remains of Ezidi victims buried in mass graves in the town of Shingal (Sinjar) west of Mosul.

According to Shingal officials, the floods swept away the remains of some of victims, criticizing the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan regional government (KRG)’s “negligence” and the sluggishness of the mass graves exhumation process.

Khudeda Choki, Sinune sub-district commissioner told (KirkukNow), “The heavy rainfall has affected a number of mass graves which have not been uncovered yet, consequently the remains of tens of victims were washed away, some of them could not be retrieved.”

Heavy rain over the past two weeks caused flash floods in different areas of Iraq.

In Shirgat, Salahaddin province, floods left 7 people dead and hundreds of houses were damaged.

 “The mass graves are not sufficiently deep; as a result the remains could be swept away in case of rainfall and flooding”, said Khodeda Choki.

Iraqi federal government and the KRG should speed up the exhumation of the mass graves

According to the Directorate for Ezidi Affairs at the KRG ministry of Awqaf and religious Affairs, as many as 69 mass graves have been found in and around Shingal, containing the remains of Ezidis massacred by the Islamic State (IS) terror group after they controlled the area in August 2014.

Khodeda Choki stressed that “both the Iraqi federal government and the KRG should speed up the exhumation of the mass graves, but it seems to us that they don’t want these remains to be preserved.”

 Meanwhile, Khalil Hussein, member of the Shingal district council said, “In order to preserve the mass graves we covered them with plastic wrappings, but they could not resist in the floods, eventually about 20 mass graves around Shingal, particularly those near Mount Shingal have been uncovered, and some of the remains were taken away.”

In mid-October, a mass grave containing the remains of 17 people who were slaughtered by ISIS militants during their control over Ninewa province in 2014 was uncovered by relatives of the victims in the town of Tala’far.

The mass grave was unearthed without the permission of the special committee assigned to carry out the process.

Khairi Murad, whom the remains of four of his loved ones were buried in that mass grave told KirkukNow , “We intend to exhume the bodies and rebury them with dignity in their hometown of Shingal”.

Ninewa- Ezidi families unearth a mass grave Tala’far containing the remains of their loved ones, 15-10-2018  Photo: KitkukNow


Earlier, Fahad Khidir, member of the Martyrs Foundation and forensic medicine joint committee assigned to unearth the mass graves said, concerning the delay in the exhumation process said, “For over a month we have been collecting blood samples from relatives of the victims. Soon after this procedure we will embark on the unearthing of the mass graves.”

The town of Shingal (Sinjar) predominantly-populated by Ezidis was overrun by (IS) on August 3, 2014, and was recaptured on November 13, 2015.


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