Mass grave of 20 decomposed bodies found in northern Iraq

By Xinhua,

 Mosul, Iraq : Iraqi security forces found on Tuesday a mass grave containing 20 decomposed bodies in a town in the northern province of Nineveh, a local police source said.

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The forces discovered the site of the mass grave at a deserted house in central Tal Afar town, some 80 km west of the provincial capital of Mosul, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Based on information taken from residents, the forces headed tothe town and found the gruesome finding in the house which has been declared as a grave site, the source said.

Tal Afar is a mixed Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni Arab community. It has been the scene of ethnic and sectarian violence since the start of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Nineveh province, together with its capital Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, is said to be one of the last strongholds of al-Qaida fighters in the war-torn country.

The province has been the scene of a major security crackdown by U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces, which was aimed at uprooting al-Qaida militants and other anti-U.S. insurgent groups.

U.S. and Iraqi security forces frequently discover mass graves in different parts of Iraq for people killed in chaos and sectarian violence since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Last Wednesday, Iraqi police and local tribesmen found at least34 decomposed bodies at a mass grave in the Akkashaat area near the town of al-Qaim in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, which is close to the border with neighboring Syria.