Mass Graves in Western Iraq Drive Casualty Figure up to 470 Killed

At least 470 people were killed across Iraq today and in recent days. At least two significant mass graves were discovered in Anbar province. Also, Human Right Watch believes that 600 prisoners were killed near Mosul in June. Another 18 people were wounded.

U.S. General Martin Dempsey wants the Iraqi government to arm Sunni tribes in Anbar province and then send U.S. advisors to help them. He believes the expansion of the U.S. role in Iraq is essential to defeat the Islamic State. Separately, Norway announced it will send 120 troop to Iraq.

Human Rights Watch estimates that about 600 prisoners were killed when Islamic State militants took over Badush Prison near Mosul last June. The organization interviewed several survivors.

Security forces reported finding the bodies of 150 men in a mass grave. The men were kidnapped from villages surrounding Ramadi and were members of the Albu Nimr tribe, which had fought against the Islamic State.

Separately, at least 30 dumped bodies were discovered near Hit. Most were members of the police or Sahwa forces and the Albu Nimr tribe. Yesterday, as many as 48 tribal members were executed. Authorities say that about 300 men were kidnapped in the last week, after tribal fighters could no longer defend their town, Zauiyat Albu Nimr.

Militants in Tikrit killed seventeen members of the al-Hbesat tribe. Two suicide bombers attacked security forces, killing five and wounding 11 more.

In Baiji, a roadside bomb killed three civilians and wounded five more. Two former army officers and three policemen were executed.

Two policemen were executed in Qayara.

In Ana, a policeman was beheaded.

The body of a 12-year-old was found in Dhi Qar province, a month after he was kidnapped.

In Tuz Khormato, two Peshmerga members were wounded in a firefight with Shi’ite militiamen associated with the Badr Organization. Several more were arrested. It is unclear what caused the battle. Gunmen separately killed a P.U.K. party member.

Twenty security personnel were kidnapped in Shurqat.

Officials reported burying 100 militants after battles in Amiriyat al-Falluja.

During clashes in Baiji, 62 militants were killed.

In Duluiya and Sifona, airstrikes left 41 militants dead.

Airstrikes killed 22 militants in Mosul.

Another 22 were killed in Iskandariya.

Six militants were killed in an airstrike in Garma.

A number of militants were killed at the Sinjar cement plant.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for since 2006.