Iraq: Militants Killed 500 Yazidis, Buried Some Alive

Some were women, children in mass graves: human rights minister

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 10, 2014 9:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Islamic State's assault on the Yazidi minority community is every bit as horrific as might be expected, with Iraq's human rights minister telling Reuters today that the militant group has killed at least 500 Yazidis—and buried some of those alive. " We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic States have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar," Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said, calling the killings a "vicious atrocity." He added that some 300 women have been taken as slaves.

Sudani's claim comes as the Telegraph notes that the Islamic State has threatened hundreds of Yazidis in towns under its control with execution if they refused to convert to Islam by today. That deadline has now passed, notes Reuters; it's unclear if the slaughter referenced by Sudani involves the Yazidis under threat to convert. Meanwhile, the BBC reports that Britain has made its first airdrop of humanitarian aid to the Yazidis. "The world has been shocked by the plight of the Yazidi community," says a minister. "They face appalling conditions, cut off on Mount Sinjar after fleeing persecution."

This image from Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014 shows Iraqis from the Yazidi community arriving in Irbil after Islamic militants attacked Sinjar and Zunmar.
This image from Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014 shows Iraqis from the Yazidi community arriving in Irbil after Islamic militants attacked Sinjar and Zunmar.   (AP Photo via AP video)
This image from Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014 shows Yazidis after arriving in Irbil in northern Iraq after Islamic militants attacked the towns of Sinjar and Zunmar.
This image from Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014 shows Yazidis after arriving in Irbil in northern Iraq after Islamic militants attacked the towns of Sinjar and Zunmar.   (AP Photo via AP video)
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