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Discovery of 82 Corpses Southwest of Baghdad Sparks Sunni Anger

Discovery of 82 Corpses Southwest of Baghdad Sparks Sunni Anger

Tuesday, 13 August, 2019 - 06:15
Iraqi members of the Civil Defense cover the bones from an unearthed mass grave west of the city of Samawah, Iraq, April 14, 2019. (Reuters)
Baghdad – Hamza Mustafa
The discovery of 82 bodies in the Jarf al-Sakhr region southwest of Baghdad and the burial of some without being identified sparked anger Monday among Iraqi Sunnis, including some deputies who threatened to take up the case before international forums.

The Decision Coalition, led by former Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi, condemned the crimes that led to the death of the 82 people, saying the issue was still an “open wound” in Iraq.

The issue is related to people who have gone missing in al-Saqlawia, al-Razzaza and other areas where kidnappings were rampant, he remarked.

He held the government completely responsible for the ongoing negligence of the case.

He warned that his bloc would resort to the international community should the government maintain its ongoing stance.

Nujaifi said that the bodies of 31 men, women and children have been recently found, some of them dismembered. Earlier, 51 corpses were also discovered.

No statement or comment was made over the issue and no investigation was opened into the causes of the deaths, he remarked.

Despite all of its claims, the government has been unable to answer to or conduct fair investigations, he said.

MP Ahmed al-Jubouri stressed in a statement that most of the unidentified corpses belong to detainees from the liberated areas and are being handed over to a civil society organization to be buried.

MP Abdullah al-Kharbeet told Asharq Al-Awsat that it is only normal for officials to ask the international community to address the issue given the government’s failure to handle the file.

“It has been proven that the government is incapable of performing its constitutional duties in protecting the people… It is clear that these tragedies target a specific segment of people in our provinces,” he said in reference to Sunnis.

MP of National Axis Alliance and member of the parliamentary security and defense committee Mohammad Karbouli told Asharq Al-Awsat that his alliance would exert efforts to demand that the government cease burials until the corpses are identified.

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