A UN envoy has said more than 50 mass graves have so far been found in parts of Iraq that were previously controlled by so-called Islamic State (IS).

Jan Kubis told the UN Security Council that it was “evidence of the heinous crimes” IS had committed. The graves have been discovered in recent months as territory has been re-captured from IS. Most recently, graves found in the city of Ramadi in April may contain the remains of up to 40 people.

Mr Kubis said the international community should “take steps to ensure the accountability” of IS fighters. The Iraqi army re-captured parts of Ramadi from IS in December 2015. It had been held by the militants since May of the same year. Some pockets of resistance continued in the city until February 2016, when it fell completely under government control again. Human remains have been found in mass graves near Sinjar in northern Iraq, near Anbar in western Iraq and in Tikrit in northern Iraq. The people targeted include tribesmen, Iraqi soldiers, women and people from the minority Yazidi sect.

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Image courtesy of EPA

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