150 bodies discovered in new mass grave in Syria’s ancient Palmyra – report

© Omar Sanadiki
A new mass grave containing some 150 corpses bearing gunshot wounds and signs of torture, “dumped” by ISIS jihadists, has been discovered during joint operations in Palmyra. It is the largest burial site to be found in the ancient city since its liberation.

While working near Palmyra Airport’s runway, the group came across a gruesome finding – scores of corpses stacked on top one another, Russia’s LifeNews reported. Preliminary examination showed that the victims had gunshot wounds and as well as signs of torture.

“It is the second large mass grave… as for other smaller ones, they are found in Palmyra every ten to 15 days. It is the sixth burial site in Palmyra, but the second mass grave,” Life's correspondent Artur Kebekov reported.

“All those people were executed and had gunshot wounds,” he said, pointing out that the mass grave has most likely been a secret site and not a place of mass public executions.

The Syrian army discovered the burial site southwest of the airport just a few days ago, according to SANA, and it was initially thought to have contained around 31 corpses, some of which were headless. The investigation showed the victims had been brutally tortured by ISIS.

The majority of bodies uncovered are said to have been civilians. However, corpses of ISIS militants were also found as some of them were clad in special clothing worn by terrorists, Kebekov said.

A forensic investigation is expected to determine where the people came from and state the exact reason behind their deaths.

The ancient city of Palmyra was liberated by the Syrian Army backed by Russian forces at the end of March. Since then, repair works aimed at destroying terrorists’ fortifications and restoring historical sites have been taking place in the city. Workers constantly come across horrid findings which do not seem to end in Palmyra.

READ MORE: Palmyra mass grave: Tortured women & children among dozens of ISIS victims unearthed by Syrian Army

Another mass grave of some 40 corpses, which was also created by ISIS, was unearthed by the army back in April. The investigation showed that many of the victims were women and children.

Before the start of restoration works the city nearly represented a minefield and had to be cleared of hundreds of hidden bombs. In April Russian engineers completed the operation defusing some 3,000 explosive devices.

A strategically important location, Palmyra was seized by IS jihadists in May 2015. During that month alone, IS reportedly slaughtered 400 people, mostly women and children.