Authorities in northern Iraq have announced the discovery of a mass grave near the town of Sinjar containing the remains of more than 120 Yazidis. 

Kurdish forces finds mass grave in Iraq's Sinjar

This is the sixth time that a burial site containing victims of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been discovered near the town this month, an official told the AFP news agency on Saturday.

Mahma Khalil, the official in charge of the area where the bodies were found, said fighters had rigged the graves with explosives in the event of Kurdish forces liberating the area.

Those buried at the site are believed to have been killed by the group during its control over the area, which began in the summer of 2014. 

The grave, located about 10km west of Sinjar, has not yet been excavated, but the victims were not buried deeply, and some of their remains have been exposed by rainwater, Khalil said.

Another mass grave found in the area was believed to hold the bodies of about 80 women, aged from 40 to around 80.

One official said the women may have been executed because they were deemed too old to enslave or rape.


RELATED: ISIL is out of Sinjar, but Yazidis are still fearful


Kurdish Peshmerga fighters backed by US air strikes expelled ISIL fighters from the town earlier this month, allowing details of atrocities committed by the group to emerge.

Yazidis, who belong to a religion deemed heretical by ISIL, were subject to a campaign of murder, rape and enslavement by the group. 

ISIL is believed to have massacred thousands of Yazidi men and abducted women for use as sex slaves by its fighters.

Yazidi woman talks about ISIL captivity

Source: AFP And Al Jazeera