>> A year since Islamic State was pushed out of their defacto capital in Syria. The residents of Raqqa are still counting the dead. Sajit Salimay, who spent days waiting at these mass graves, hoping the bodies of his wife and three children will be found. His wish is to give them a proper burial.
He's already reburied his father. His body was exhumed from another mass grave. Raqqa served as the militant groups headquarters and it was a brutal battle to drive them out. A team combing the rubble and burial sites has found more than 2,600 bodies so far this year. Locals say many more bodies have been recovered by Raqqa residents, working on their Their own.
Salimay lost seven family members and eight neighbors in an airstrike during the US back defensive against IS. He said the Jihadist buried their bodies without his knowledge.>> This is the youngest one and this is Miara, who is the only one that remains with me, she was taken out from under rubble after 12 hours.
>> This site used to be a public garden. It's now believed to be one of the biggest of nine mass graves. There are 200 trenches to search here. Locals say IS prepared the mass graves before the offensive. The teams say some of the bodies belonged to militants. A forensic unit stands by to determine the sex, age and cause of death.
Those not claimed by relatives are driven away for burial at the city cemetery. A year on, hundreds of Raqqa's residents still want to say goodbye to their loved ones.