Iraqi officials have found three mass graves containing the bodies of about 1,000 people thought to have been executed by US soldiers during their occupation of the country.
The graves were uncovered in Iraq’s western province of al-Anbar. The remains are believed to be from victims killed by US forces during 2004 and 2005 in the city of Fallujah, located roughly 69 kilometers (43 miles) west of Baghdad.
Å“Security forces and rights groups found the three mass graves in Saqlawiyah and Ameriyah of Fallujah near a cemetery north of the city. They contain the remains of about a thousand people,” Deputy Chairman of Anbar’s provincial council, Sadoun Obaid al-Shaalan, said on Wednesday.
He also called on the Iraqi government to order DNA tests on the remains to ascertain the identity of the victims, especially since there are hundreds of families in Anbar – particularly Fallujah – who are trying to discover the fate of their lost children.
The first battle of Fallujah was an unsuccessful attempt by the US military to capture the city in April 2004.
Fighting broke out after four US mercenaries from Blackwater Company were killed, dismembered and hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River.
On May 1, 2004, the US troops withdrew from Fallujah as Lieutenant General James Conway announced that he had unilaterally decided to turn over operations to the Fallujah Brigade — which composed of local militiamen under the command of former Ba’ath General Muhammed Latif.
Iraq accounts of the first battle of Fallujah put the number of injured or dead at more than 400.
The second battle of Fallujah was a joint American and British offensive in November and December 2004. The Iraqi narrative of the second battle puts the total number of dead and wounded at more than 5,000.
This article originally appeared on : Press TV