1134 GMT October 15, 2019
The grave, found in the desert about 170 kilometers (106 miles) west of the city of Samawa, contained the remains of dozens of Kurds made to “disappear” by Saddam’s forces, Salih’s office said, Reuters reported.
They were among up to 180,000 people who may have been killed during Saddam’s “Anfal” campaign that targeted Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s when chemical gas was used, villages were razed and thousands of Kurds were forced into camps.
“He killed them because they did not accept the continuation of this regime, because they wanted to live a free and dignified life,” Salih, a Kurd, told a news conference at the grave site.
“He brought them to Samawa to bury them but our people in Samawa embraced them,” Salih added.
Iraq’s southern provinces are predominantly inhabited by Shia Arabs, who also suffered oppression and mass killings under Saddam.
“The new Iraq must never forget these crimes that were committed against Iraqi people from all groups,” he said.