Sept. 28 (UPI) — Forces loyal to the Iraqi government uncovered a mass grave in the recently liberated town of Tal Afar believed to hold the bodies of 40 Islamic State militants.
The grave contained the bodies of several women and foreign militants who joined the terrorist group after it took over a wide swath of territory in Iraq and Syria in 2014. Military officials said the bodies appeared to have been there since earlier this summer, when the town was subject to a series of aerial bombing raids prior to the Iraqi-led ground offensive to retake control of Tal Afar.
The discovery came a day after IS militants disguised as tribal fighters infiltrated a portion of the western city of Ramadi. The fighters took control of several buildings in a portion of the city and 20 Islamic State members were killed by government security forces.
The government declared a civilian curfew Wednesday night amid the fighting.
Ramadi is located about 55 miles west of Baghdad. The city fell under IS control for about a year until government forces drove them out in late 2015. Since then it has endured periodic bombings and terrorist attacks, though the government has remained in control since IS fighters were forced to retreat.