Baghdad, April 7: Iraqi forensic teams have found the suspected mass graves of around 1700 Iraqi soldiers killed by the Islamic State group (ISIS) near the former US Army base, Camp Speicher in Tikrit, media reported.
These 1700 captured Iraqi soldiers were believed to be killed by the ISIS militants in June last year, BBC reported on Tuesday. After the June 2014 incident ISIS posted videos and pictures of the execution of the mostly Shia soldiers on social media.
The forensic teams have started to excavate 12 graves following the city's liberation from ISIS. The Iraqi government claimed victory over ISIS insurgents in Tikrit on April 1 after a month-long battle.
DNA testing will be done to identify the bodies once they have been exhumed, as many families have never had confirmation of their relatives' death.
Some of the burial sites are in the presidential compound of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, which became the ISIS headquarters after they took the city last year.
The Iraqi army is now expected to turn its attention to Mosul, 225 km (335 miles) north along the Tigris river.
ISIS's most significant stronghold in Iraq, Mosul, presents a far greater challenge than Tikrit for the US-led air coalition and Iraqi ground forces.