Hawzah News Agency (Mosul, Iraq) - An unnamed source from the Syriac Orthodox Church told that the volunteer forces, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, unearthed the mass grave along with security troops in Halila region near the village of Badush, located some 15 kilometers northwest of Mosul.
The source added the mass grave contains the bodies of 40 Christian victims, noting that there are the remains of women and children among the corpses. Some of the victims reportedly had small crosses with them.
The development came only two days after Iraqi army troops found a mass grave of 100 Daesh militants in al-Zarka region of the small town of Ba'aj.
Colonel Ali al-Taan told Arabic-language Basnews news agency that the corpses bore gunshot wounds to their heads and chests.
On December 9, 2017, Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations against the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab country.
"Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh," Abadi told a conference in Baghdad then.
On July 10, Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists' main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha'abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.