Up to 1,000 bodies retrieved in Iraq's liberated Mosul

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-22 22:54:22|Editor: yan
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MOSUL, Iraq, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Up to 1,000 bodies were retrieved under the debris of devastated buildings in western Mosul in Iraq over the past several days, a police source said Tuesday.

"Only on Monday and Tuesday, a team from the Iraqi civil defense police retrieved 150 decomposed corpses. Some of them were of women and children," Lieut. Col. Rabie Ibrahim, head of the team, told Xinhua.

The bodies were said to be of Islamic State (IS) militants, their family members or the civilians prevented by IS militants from leaving homes during the fierce battles and heavy bombardment of the city, Ibrahim said.

The campaign to retrieve the bodies was ordered 10 days ago by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, who formed a committee from the civil defense and Nineveh's provincial police to clear the devastated areas in the old city center of western Mosul for bodies.

The civil defense team retrieved 763 bodies until last Friday, and the number rose to 1,000 in the following days.

In July 2017, Abadi officially declared the liberation of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, from the IS after nearly nine months of fierce fighting to dislodge the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in the country.

A large part of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, including its capital Mosul, fell under the IS control in June 2014, when government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.