It was in June last year that the world was made aware of the Islamic terrorist group IS, the Islamic state, which also goes by the acronyms ISIL, ISIS and Daesh.
The Sunni organization took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit on June 11th. The day after they claimed that 1,700 Shiite Muslims - soldiers in the Iraqi army - had been executed.
Videos showed hundreds of men, in civilian clothes, from the army base Speicher, which had surrendered and were later executed.
Now Iraqi forces have recaptured the city and mass graves from what is called "The Speicher massacre" is uncovered.
- We dug up the first mass grave today. Until now we have found at least 20 corpses. Preliminary indications show that they are Speicher victims, said Khalid al-Atbi, to Reuters. He represents the Iraqi health authorities and is working with forensic sent to Tikrit.
- It was heartbreaking. We could not avoid breaking into tears. What barbaric savages can kill 1700 people in cold blood?
Human Rights Watch has characterized the "Speicher massacre" as the "biggest reported incident," where "ISIS caught more than 1,000 soldiers who escaped from Camp Speicher ... and then executed at least 800 of them."
CNN was at the site where the mass graves were uncovered. The news channel's reporter said she saw that some of the remains had their hands tied.
There are several mass graves. They have been found inside Saddam Hussein's former presidential palace complex in Tikrit, which was ISIS main base in the town.
After the first three corpses were found, ten Iraqi soldiers honored the dead by firing seven shots in the air. The National Hymn was played while the soldiers, according to CNN, cried.
Eyewitnesses have said that the executions lasted for three days.
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