Iraqi authorities announced on Wednesday that their forces have found the bodies of at least 40 victims of the DAESH terror organisation, including women and children, in an uncovered mass grave in Ramadi west of Baghdad.
Photos were released on the Facebook page of the provincial police which showed different parts of decomposing bodies in the capital of Anbar Province, which Iraq's military had recaptured last month.
Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan confirmed the findings.
"We believe they were the last to fight DAESH before Ramadi fell in May 2015. Investigation ongoing," Anbar Governor Sohaib al-Rawi said in a tweet.
Muhannad Haimour, the governor's adviser, said more than 15 of the death bodies - which were found in the central district of al Jamaaiya, belonged to police officers - and were identified by their ID cards that taken from the graves.
— Sohaib Alrawi (@Sohaib_Alrawi) 27 Ocak 2016
Not all the bodies were identified, but some of them belong to women and children, he said.
Haimour also said there were signs of torture and gunshot wounds on the dead bodies, but this has not been confirmed.
Iraqi forces retook Ramadi from DAESH last month. The fall of the city previously in May was considered a strategic failure for both the Iraqi Army and the US-led coalition battling the terrorist group.
The UN has stated DAESH terrorists are responsible for several war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide.
Much of the center of the Anbar provincial capital is continuing to be cleared of explosives planted by the terrorists who took control of the city in May, delaying the return of tens of thousands of residents who fled to Baghdad and other cities across the country.