Conflict & Justice

The bodies of 50 executed civilians turn up south of Baghdad

iraq_graves_cemetary.jpg

Mourners visit a Baghdad cemetery in 2013.

Credit:

Ahmad al-Rubaye

BAGHDAD — Iraqi security forces found the bodies of 50 unidentified civilians who were executed in Babylon province, located 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Baghdad, police said Wednesday.

The bodies of the victims, who had been blindfolded and were shot in the head and chest, were discovered in a field in Al Hamza and taken to the coroner's office to be identified, police said in a statement.

The reason for the executions and the date the civilians were killed have not been determined.

The Iraqi army and Sunni insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, have been fighting in Babylon province.

At least 22 security forces members were killed and 25 others wounded in clashes with Islamic extremists in the area on June 28.

ISIL, which controls large swaths of land in the north and west of Iraq, proclaimed an Islamic caliphate on June 29 extending from the Syrian province of Aleppo to Diyala in Iraq.

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