BAGHDAD, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The authorities of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh said Monday that 23 bodies were retrieved under the debris of devastated buildings of the provincial capital Mosul.
During the past week, the municipality of Mosul has been removing the rubble of dozens of devastated buildings on the bank of the Tigris River in the Ras al-Kour neighborhood in the city's old city center, Brigadier General Hussam Khalil from the Civil Defense told Xinhua.
So far, 23 decomposed corpses were retrieved, believed to be for the militants of the Islamic State (IS) group who were killed during the battles to liberate the city in mid-2017, Khalil said.
Over the past years, the provincial authorities carried out campaigns to retrieve hundreds of bodies for people killed and buried under rubble. They are either IS militants or civilians who were prevented by the extremist militants from leaving their homes during the fierce battles and heavy bombardment of the city, which is located some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
In July 2017, Iraq officially declared the liberation of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, from the IS after nearly nine months of fighting to dislodge the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in the country. Enditem