Watchdog: Syrian group uncovering IS mass graves needs help

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BEIRUT (AP) — An international watchdog says a local group working to uncover mass graves in Syria's northeastern provinces until recently controlled by Islamic State militants needs international support.

Human Rights Watch says help is needed to preserve evidence of possible crimes and identify remains found there.

The New York-based watchdog says thousands of bodies — both of civilians and extremists — remain to be recovered in an unknown number of mass graves in the city of Raqqa and nearby areas.

According to HRW, the Raqqa Civil Council is "struggling to cope with the logistical challenges of collecting and organizing information" on the bodies recovered and providing it to families searching for missing or dead relatives.

It says identifying missing people and preserving evidence for possible prosecutions is critical for Syria's future.

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