Doctors identify Yazidi victims in northern Iraq and close families

The bodies of Yazidis found in mass graves left by the Islamic State in the village of Kocho in northern Iraq are being examined by forensic scientists in Baghdad. By identifying the victims and determining the causes of death, doctors hope to close their families. FRANCE 24’s Jack Hewson reports from northern Iraq.

At the Forensic Institute of Baghdad, bodies excavated from 17 mass graves left by the Islamic State (IS) group around the village of Kocho are being examined. Doctors are trying to identify the Yazidi victims and determine the causes of death.

“With a living person, you can use the profile for their eyes or fingers, but in mass graves where people have been buried for more than a year, the only method is to identify that the person is using DNA,” says Dr. Mohammed Ihsan, head of the anthropology department at the Baghdad Forensic Institute, told FRANCE 24.

More than 500 bodies have been analyzed in recent years, of which 104 have been identified. Most of these victims were women, children and the elderly.

Click on the player above to see the full report.