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Mass grave uncovered in former Islamic State stronghold Palmyra

By Daniel Uria
Syrian military forces uncovered a mass grave just outside the ancient city of Palmyra containing about 40 bodies, mostly of women and children. Syria liberated the city from the Islamic State on March 27. It is believed the IS decapitated and severely tortured the people before killing them. Military continued to excavate the grave while looking to disarm a series of explosives left in the city by the Islamic State.
 Pictured: The historic temple of Bel in Palmyra.
 Photo by Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia
Syrian military forces uncovered a mass grave just outside the ancient city of Palmyra containing about 40 bodies, mostly of women and children. Syria liberated the city from the Islamic State on March 27. It is believed the IS decapitated and severely tortured the people before killing them. Military continued to excavate the grave while looking to disarm a series of explosives left in the city by the Islamic State. Pictured: The historic temple of Bel in Palmyra. Photo by Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia

PALMYRA , Syria, April 2 (UPI) -- Syrian military discovered a mass burial site with about 40 bodies -- many women and children -- outside the former Islamic State stronghold of Palmyra.

After initially removing about 25 bodies from the site, excavators found an additional 15 more still inside the mass grave just northeast of the ancient city.

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The bodies of three children and five women were among those first recovered. The 15 that remained were all women and children, believed to have been killed by the IS, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.

Some of the bodies appeared to have been beheaded, while others showed signs of severe torture prior to their death.

Syrian forces recaptured the city of Palmyra on March 27, months after IS militants took control of the ancient city in May.

The army continued to excavate the grave while also searching for an interconnected network of about 3,000 landmines and explosives hidden throughout the city by the IS, according to a Russian combat engineer.

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