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Thousands of undocumented bodies recovered in latest Raqqa mass grave Open in fullscreen

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Thousands of undocumented bodies recovered in latest Raqqa mass grave

Mass graves are being recovered in Raqqa (Getty)

Date of publication: 8 September, 2019

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A Syrian campaign group has estimated that around 5000 bodies have been recovered in Raqqa since IS were ousted from the area.
The campaign group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently reported that around 5000 bodies, predominantly civilians, have been recovered in the Syrian city since the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) retook the city from the Islamic State. 

The campaign said in a report on Sunday that many of these civilians were killed by bombing from international coalition and shelling from SDF forces, as well as IS executions.

The report said that during the bombing campaign, residents would find bodies in the city and bury them without documentation or keeping count of the dead.  

Last week a new mass grave was found in a Bedouin neighbourhood north of the city, and included 31 bodies.

Earlier this year the al-Talai mass grave was discovered, which included 650 bodies, mostly believed to have been executed by IS.  

The SDF accused IS of executing civilians en mass before leaving the city, while the SDF and the international coalition has been accused of killing civilians during a bombing campaign on the city.  

IS took full control of the city of Raqqa in early 2014 and made it the de facto Syrian capital of its infamous cross-border "caliphate".

US-backed forces ousted IS from the devastated city in October 2017, leaving the Raqqa Civil Council (RCC) to run it.

The RCC has been retrieving bodies from the rubble across Raqqa, left in ruins by the months-long assault to oust IS.

In February, an exhumation team uncovered a mass grave holding an estimated 3,500 people in Raqqa's Al-Fukheikha agricultural suburb - the largest to date.

Several other mass graves have already been identified around the city, including one in the neighbourhood known as "Panorama," from which more than 900 bodies were exhumed.

Agencies contributed to this report

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