468x60 General & Logo

After defeat of militants, a grim search for bodies in Iraq

In the baking summer heat, exhausted rescue crews are now sifting through the debris of the toughest battle against the Islamic State group in what became its final redoubt in the city. A final death toll is unlikely to ever be known, robbing families of answers and a grave for their grief. On Friday, Sumaya Sarhan, 48, waited in the rescue workers’ sun-parched yard for her brother’s remains, three months after the air strike that killed him. The task of cutting bodies from their homes in this, the most devastated swath of the city, has fallen to a 25-man civil defense unit with one bulldozer, a forklift truck and a single vehicle to carry the corpses. [...] there are those the Islamic State shot as they tried to flee, their bodies left to rot as a message to anyone else who might attempt to escape. Across the entire city, which had a population of almost 2 million before the Islamic State arrived, satellite imagery shows battle scars or total destruction across more than 10,000 buildings.

Article by By Louisa Loveluck (c) Page One News - Read full story here.