A mass grave containing the remains of about 100 people has been discovered inside a school in a town close to Mosul.
Iraqi forces found the chilling site in the School of Agriculture on the outskirts of Hammam al-Alil, a town recaptured from ISIS on Monday.
One haunting picture showed a soldier pulling a child’s stuffed toy from the scraps of clothing and rotting flesh, swarming with flies.
The discovery was the latest instance of mass graves being uncovered in territory won back from the death cult.
In Iraq and Syria so far, ISIS has killed thousands of people in summary executions and extrajudicial killings, the graves a dark testimony to its brutality.
Footage from the site showed bones and decomposed bodies among pieces of clothing and plastic bags being dug out of the ground by a bulldozer.
Iraqi troops had noticed a strong smell while advancing into the town of Hammam al-Alil on Monday.
The town lies some 19 miles from Mosul.
Cabinet official Haider Majeed, in charge of mass grave investigations, said: ‘Investigators flew in this morning and are on their way to the grave to conduct examinations and determine the cause of death.’
Officials at the site said the bodies were decapitated.
ISIS terrorists have carried out a series of massacres since seizing large swaths of southern and central Iraq in the summer of 2014, often documenting them with sick photos and videos circulated online.
The campaign to drive them from Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and the terrorists’ last major urban stronghold, began on October 17.
Iraqi troops and the Kurdish peshmerga forces are now converging on Mosul, although their progress has been halted by ISIS terrorists sending suicide bombers in explosives-packed vehicles against advancing forces.
Despite that, Iraqi troops have now seized the town of Bashiqa, as US-backed militia forces advance on the jihadists’ Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.
More than a million people are believed to be in Mosul.
Raqqa had a population of some 240,000 before the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011 and more than 80,000 people have since fled there from other parts of the war-torn country.
The Mosul offensive has advanced faster than expected, but the battle for Raqqa is more complicated.
Unlike in Iraq where the coalition has a state-controlled ally in federal forces, in Syria its ground partner is comprised of local militias, including some rebel groups that have battled President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.