Mosul Body Collectors

More than nine months after the so called Islamic State (IS) was defeated in Mosul, the city’s residents continue to deal with the aftermath of the battle. Thousands of dead bodies belonging to civilians and ISIL fighters are still beneath the rubble in Mosul’s Old City. The jewish neighbourhood of Al-Midan was the last bastion of IS fighters during the final stages of the battle. Severe shelling by coalition warplanes resulted in dozens of collapsed houses and thousands of people buried under the rubble. While Iraq’s civil defence initially refused to pick up the bodies of IS fighters, a group of young volunteers started to recover the bodies. Without any formal training or expertise, the group of volunteers collects the dead bodies, working in the morning hours when the smell is not too intense. Their task is not an easy one. Many of the bodies belonging to IS fighters still have their suicide belts around, making their collection dangerous and difficult. After seven months, they had collected more than 1,200 bodies

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