Aerial view of the mass grave taken on June 13, 2021 (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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A mass grave containing 123 people tortured and killed by ISIS has been discovered in Iraq, two years after the terror group was defeated.

The Badush prison massacre took place in 2014 and saw inmates killed as ISIS took control of the during their occupation of Mosul.

The jihadists freed Sunni Muslims prisoners and forced 583 mainly Shiite prisoners into trucks, before driving them to a ravine and shooting them.

The grave, discovered after Iraqi forces took control of the area in March 2017, is one of more than 200 left behind by ISIS, according to the United Nations.

The bodies have now been removed from the grave in a bid to identify them.

Iraqi forensic personnel work at a site believed to be a mass grave
(Image: AMMAR SALIH/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Saleh Ahmed, a member of government commission tasked with identifying the bodies, said that the work to find out who the people are is "difficult".

He said: "The heat is overwhelming. Some remains are entangled, and there are snakes and scorpions everywhere."

The United Nations believes more than 12,000 people are buried in graves as a result of ISIS atrocities.

Najm al-Jubburi, governor of the Nineveh province where the prison is located, said: "Thousands of families are waiting to know what happened to their relatives."

Human remains have been found in the northern Iraqi village of Badush, northwest of the city of Mosul
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Abbas Mohammed, whose son was jailed at Badush following his arrest by US forces in 2005, is still waiting for news of his son.

He said: "After 17 years of not knowing whether my son is alive or dead, I need an answer."

In 2017, Iraqi soldiers unearthed another mass grave near the prison containing the bodies of 500 people executed by ISIS.