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Meet the 23-year-old woman clearing out corpses in Mosul by hand

Before they can rebuild Mosul, volunteers first have to clear the corpses.

Corpses still litter the streets of West Mosul, where the fight against ISIS ended nine months ago. Parts of the city are starting to recover, but before life can return to normal, the streets need to be cleared of human remains.

The unenviable task has been assumed by people like Sroor al-Hosayni, a 23-year-old Mosul native and former nurse. She leads a crew of volunteers, many of whom have no formal medical training, in an effort to clean up the neighborhoods.


Hosayni started her work after her sister was killed in an airstrike targeting an ISIS sniper who had positioned himself on the roof of her family’s home.

Since space was limited in Mosul’s cemeteries, Hosayni cut a deal with security forces in order to make sure her sister received a proper burial.

Watch the full report on VICE News Tonight: Inside the killing rooms of Mosul

“We took my sister’s body. It was the first body to be buried in a cemetery in East Mosul. The agreement was that if we got my sister buried there, I would work for the security forces,” Hosayni said.

Since she began, Hosayni’s team has pulled more than 350 bodies off the streets of Mosul, and they are continuing to to respond to calls.

“Keeping yourself busy with work can help keep bad thoughts away,” she says. “I’m glad I was able to take revenge on ISIS, doing humanitarian work.”