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28th Feb 2017

Four thousand people found dead in giant sinkhole

Amanda Cassidy

It is a shocking headline to read. Especially out of context.

But I left out a fact- this mass grave was found in Iraq.

Much less shocking all of a sudden.

To my own shame, I scrolled on by when I read this news story earlier today – the usual Iraq mention desensitising me to an atrocity that is happening in our lifetime, right now.

The Khasfa sinkhole is five miles outside Mosul and it is believed to be the biggest mass grave in Iraq and the resting place of an estimated 4,000 bodies.

The Telegraph reports that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) killed and dumped the bodies of thousands of security personnel here. That is according to local villagers, Iraqi police and human rights organisations.

It has been reported that most victims were shot and dumped into the pit, blindfolded with their hands behind their backs, while others perished in convoys of minibuses driven over the edge.

They were killed because they were gay, or teachers or policemen or government workers or…just because.

And their families were forced to watch.

These four thousand people had no less hopes and dreams or fears than we have.  Imagine the terror.

We have to stop being desensitised to what’s happening in our world – this apathy breeds acceptance.

It is not just geography.

ISIL later bulldozed it over the sinkhole with earth. Now just a small crevice remains in the ground –  little evidence of the horrors that lay beneath.