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Mass grave containing dozens of women found in Syria's Baghouz, says SDF

Decapitated bodies, many suspected of being Yazidis, uncovered near Islamic State group's last stand
Thousands of people of many nationalities have streamed out of the final shred of IS-held territory in recent weeks (Reuters)

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia said on Thursday it had uncovered a mass grave containing dozens of corpses that may belong to Yazidis enslaved by the Islamic State group (IS).

The bodies, which were uncovered near where the militant group is making its last stand in eastern Syria, were mostly of women, SDF official Adnan Afrin told the Reuters news agency.

"They were slaughtered," said Afrin, who added that most of the bodies found in the town of Baghouz were found decapitated.

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The SDF official said it is confirming whether the bodies are of Yazidis held captive by IS militants. 

More than 3,000 other Yazidis were killed in an onslaught the United Nations later described as genocidal, which prompted the first US air strikes against IS.

Thousands more fled on foot and many of them remain displaced over four years later.

Earlier on Thursday, the SDF said it had freed dozens of its fighters who had been held captive by IS in its stronghold near the Iraqi border. 

The militia, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters, said it had rescued 24 of its members but did not confirm how it had carried out its rescue mission in the Baghouz area  

Part of Baghouz, a tiny cluster of hamlets and farmland on the banks of the Euphrates River, is all that remains of IS's territorial foothold that once straddled Syria and Iraq.

Thousands of people of many nationalities have streamed out of the final shred of land in recent weeks, an exodus of both its supporters and victims, surpassing initial estimates and delaying an end to the battle.