UN Exhumes Yazidi Mass Graves from Islamic State Massacre in Northern Iraq


Five years after Islamic State (IS) killed thousands of Yazidis, United Nations teams have begun exhuming mass graves around the city of Kocho, hoping to identify the bodies of missing people and enable the burial of remains by families. Since IS lost control of the Sinjar region in northern Iraq, Yazidi men have protected the remains of those who died during the Kocho massacre. They suspect that some of their relatives might be found in the city’s mass grave.

Then inhabited by 1,700 people, Kocho became the sight of a massacre in August 2014. When Yazidi villagers refused to convert to Islam, extremists gathered them at a school, taking hundreds of women captive and killing over 400 men.

Only 26 bodies have been exhumed so far because of the security situation in the region. Once the remains of the victims have been recovered, they will be sent to Baghdad for DNA analysis and identification. They will then be returned to the families for burial.

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France 24