22 Apr 2018: Over 50 dead bodies recovered in former ISIS stronghold Raqqa
Over 50 dead bodies were recovered from a mass grave in Raqqa, the former de-facto capital of Islamic State, on Saturday.
The dead bodies included civilians and jihadists. A football pitch, close to a hospital, had been converted into the mass grave.
The terror group was ousted from Raqqa, in Northern Syria, by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in October 2017.
Fact: Burials done in haste, says official
"It was apparently the only place available for burials, which were done in haste. The jihadists were holed up in the hospital," an official said. The civilians were buried with only their first names.
Details: Mass graves common in jihadist strongholds
Troops recovered a number of mass graves in ISIS' strongholds of Syria and Iraq. In February, they discovered a grave holding more than 30 bodies.
A Guardian report of 2016 quoted a survey that suggested as many as 15,000 victims of Jihadi terror were buried in 72 sites across Syria.
ISIS is responsible for multiple atrocities during its reign, from mass killings to decapitations.
A long way to go: After ISIS ouster, Raqqa still in rubble
Tamer El-Ghobashy, who documented Raqqa for The Washington Post, heaped praises on the Raqqa Civil Council, which has been given the responsibility for the city's rehabilitation.
The once prosperous city is devoid of basic amenities like electricity and water. The huge amount of debris lying around poses a problem for the team.
As of now, focus is on stabilization of Raqqa and not rebuilding.