Iraq: Mass grave of 'Saddam Hussein opponents' unearthed in Najaf

Iraq: Mass grave of 'Saddam Hussein opponents' unearthed in Najaf
The bodies are believed to be victims of the Saddam Hussein regime.
1 min read
05 April, 2022
Saddam Hussein ruled as dictator of Iraq for over two decades [John Wilcox/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/Getty-file photo]

Bodies, believed to be opponents of the Saddam Hussein regime, have been uncovered in a mass grave in Iraq, officials said on Monday.

Among the dead are thought to be protesters killed by Iraqi forces during the 1990s, the office of the governor of Najaf said, according to Anadolu Agency.

It is not known how many bodies were in the grave.

In 1991, many Iraqis stood up to the regime following the Gulf War with the uprising spreading through the Shia-majority south, including Najaf. Kurdish areas also rebelled.

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Iraqi forces crushed the demonstrations leading to as many as 200,000 killed.

Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq with an iron grip from 1979 until he was deposed in 2003 following a US-led invasion.

He was executed by hanging in late 2006 following a trial for crimes against humanity, where he was found guilty.

The US-led invasion killed at minimum tens of thousands of people and fuelled sectarianism and extremism across the Middle East.

Iraq has many mass graves created by various actors, and it is believed these contain between 6,000 and 12,000 bodies in total, according to Anadolu Agency.

Mass grave sites, including of people killed by Saddam Hussein's regime, are uncovered relatively often in Iraq.