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50 Mass Graves Found In Iraq In Areas Retaken From Islamic State

Iraqi officers and forensics team personnel dig at a site believed to be a mass grave in Ramadi, April 19, 2016

More than 50 mass graves have been discovered in territory liberated from Islamic State control in Iraq, including three burial pits in a soccer field, a United Nations envoy said on May 6.

Jan Kubis told the UN Security Council that evidence of the "heinous crimes" committed by the militant group wereuncovered as Iraqi forces backed by U.S. troops and air power retook Ramadi and other areas of north and western Iraq.

Three graves containing up to 40 sets of remains were found in a Ramadi soccer field on April 19, he said. Ramadi was fully liberated in February.

The envoy said the humanitarian crisis is worsening in Iraq, with nearly a third of the population, or over 10 million people, now requiring urgent aid -- double the number from last year.

He projected that a further two million people could be displaced by the end of the year by new military campaigns aimed at driving out IS.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces launched an offensive in March in the province of Nineveh, where the capital Mosul has been held by IS since June 2014.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP