Arabic-language Basnews news agency quoted Captain Ali Hassan Marwan, a provincial police official, as saying that police forces made the discovery near the al-Rashidiyah district of the provincial capital city of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad He added that authorities had so far recovered the bodies of 78 people from the grave, Presstv Reported.
Marwan said that 54 bodies belonged to women, who were apparently kidnapped by Daesh militants during their capture of Mosul back in 2014.
Security forces have handed over the bodies to the forensic department in the city to be identified and returned to their relatives.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged on June 30 to hunt down Daesh terrorists across Iraq after a series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist group.
“We will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi said.
Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.
On July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.