Mosul – More than 2,000 bodies of civilians were recovered since liberation of Mosul city, an Iraqi officer said on Friday.
“Rescue teams of Nineveh’s civil defense department have recovered more than 2,100 bodies of civilians from under the destroyed houses in the western side of Mosul, especially in the Old City,” Lt. Saad Hamed, an officer from the department, told Anadolu Agency.
The teams, according to Hamed, “face obstacles including logistic ones related to the equipments, as well as security issues regarding presence of tunnels and shelters where IS militants are still hiding.”
The recovery of bodies is expected to end in two months, Hamed said adding that between 400-500 bodies are likely to be still under the rubble, depending on the requests from families who inquire about bodies of their relatives.
Hamed did not mention the actual number of recovered bodies that belong to the militant group. He also did not discuss the mechanism of identifying bodies of civilians or militants.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell, the official authority tasked with declaring information about the war against IS, said on July 20 that 1,429 civilians and 30,000 militants were killed during the campaign.
On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over IS militants who had held the second largest Iraqi city since 2014.