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Sat 2 Apr 2016 04:16 PM

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Mass grave found in Syria's Palmyra after city recaptured from ISIL

The grave contained 40 bodies, including many women and children, according to Syrian state news agency SANA

Mass grave found in Syria's Palmyra after city recaptured from ISIL
Smoke rises from the modern city of Palmyra, in Homs Governorate, Syria. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

Syrian troops have identified 45 bodies so far in a mass grave in the city of Palmyra, which was recaptured from ISIL last Sunday, a military source told Reuters on Saturday.

The communal grave, on the north-eastern edge of Palmyra, is the only one found so far in the city by the Syrian forces, the source said. It held the bodies of both civilians and Syrian army members captured by ISIL.

Syrian state news agency SANA said on Friday the grave contained many women and children and some of the bodies had been beheaded.

In May last year, as ISIL took control of Palmyra, the hard-line Islamist militants were reported by Syrian state media to have killed at least 400 people in the first four days of control.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the five-year-old Syrian conflict through a network of sources on the ground, said that ISIL had killed a number of people at an earlier time and buried them on the outskirts of the city. 

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