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Sunday, October 15, 2017
Once promised paradise, ISIS fighters end up in mass graves
The Islamic State group once drew recruits from near and far with promises of paradise but now bodies of jihadists lie in mass graves or at the mercy of wild dogs as its "caliphate" collapses.
Flies buzz around human remains poking through the dusty earth in the Iraqi town of Dhuluiyah, 90 kilometres (55 miles) north of Baghdad, at a hastily-dug pit containing the bodies of dozens of IS fighters killed in 2015.
"They should have ended up in the stomachs of stray dogs," local police officer Mohammed al-Juburi told AFP.
"We buried them here not out of love but because we wanted to avoid diseases."
At one stage, IS ruthlessly wielded power over a vast swathe of territory straddling Iraq and Syria, but a military onslaught on multiple fronts has seen its fiefdom shrink to a last few pockets.
Since the launch in 2014 of air strikes in Iraq and Syria against the group, a US-led coalition says around 80,000 jihadists have been killed.
The overall number of dead is higher if you include those targeted by Russian and Syrian strikes.
Buried with bulldozers
In agricultural Dhuluiyah on the banks of the Tigris river, residents faced a common dilemma over what to do with the corpses of IS fighters after local Sunni militiamen beat back the jihadists in fierce clashes. (Read More)