Hundreds of bodies found in mass graves near Syria ex-Daesh bastion

A video showing forensic experts in protective clothing recovering remains. (SANA)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Hundreds of bodies found in mass graves near Syria ex-Daesh bastion

  • Many of the bodies recovered have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment before execution
  • Work was under way to retrieve the rest of the bodies
DAMASCUS: Seven mass graves containing hundreds of unidentified bodies have been unearthed near the former Daesh group stronghold of Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, official news agency SANA said.
Most of the more than 100 bodies recovered so far at the site appear to “have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment before execution,” it said, accusing Daesh of killing the victims.
Work was under way to retrieve the rest of the bodies from the graves in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, SANA said in its report published late Tuesday.
It released a video showing forensic experts in protective clothing recovering remains, and corpses laid out on the ground in a row under white sheets.
A Syrian Red Crescent official said the main focus at present was identifying the remains already recovered which included those of several women.
“Exhumations will resume afterwards,” the official said, asking not to be identified.
“The bodies show signs of torture and some were blindfolded and handcuffed.”
Daesh has been held responsible for multiple atrocities during its reign of terror, including mass executions and decapitations.
In recent months, both Syria and Iraq have discovered a number of mass graves in areas previously occupied by the jihadists.
Daesh proclaimed a “caliphate” over swathes of the two countries in 2014, but has since lost almost all the territory it once held.
Albu Kamal, which lies in the Euphrates Valley near the border with Iraq, was the last major town that Daesh controlled fully before losing it in November 2017.


Explosion targets a tourist bus, injures at least 17 near Cairo’s Great Pyramids: Security sources

Updated 15 min 42 sec ago
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Explosion targets a tourist bus, injures at least 17 near Cairo’s Great Pyramids: Security sources

  • There were no reports of deaths
  • One security source said they included South African nationals

CAIRO: An explosion targeting a tourist bus injured at least 17 people near a new museum being built close to the Giza pyramids in Egypt on Sunday, two security sources said.

The sources said that most of the injuries were foreign tourists, with some social media users posting pictures of a damaged bus and what looked like injured tourists.

One security source said they included South African nationals.

There were no reports of deaths. A witness, Mohamed El-Mandouh, told Reuters he heard a "very loud explosion" while sitting in traffic near the site of the blast.

Pictures posted on social media showed a bus with some of its windows blown out or shattered, and debris in the road next to a low wall with a hole in it.

It is the second to target foreign tourists near the famed pyramids in less than six months. In December, three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed and at least 10 others injured when a roadside bomb hit their tour bus less than 4 kilometres from the Giza pyramids. 

Egypt has battled militants for years in the Sinai Peninsula in an ongoing insurgency that has occasionally spilled over to the mainland, which often targets minority Christians or tourists.

The attack comes as Egypt's vital tourism industry is showing signs of recovery after years in the doldrums because of the political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak.

(With Agencies)