IS Kills 300 Yazidi Captives

IS Kills 300 Yazidi CaptivesIS Kills 300 Yazidi Captives

Several hundred Yazidi captives have been killed in Iraq by Islamic State militants west of Mosul, Yazidi and Iraqi officials said late Saturday.

A statement from the Yazidi Progress Party said 300 captives were killed on Friday in the Tal Afar district near the city. Iraqi Vice-President Osama al-Nujaifi described the reported deaths as “horrific and barbaric,” BBC reported.

Thousands of members of the religious minority group were captured last year. It is not clear how they were killed, or why the killings took place now.

Many are reported to have been held in Mosul, the main stronghold of IS after the militants swept through large areas of northern and western Iraq, and eastern Syria in 2014.

Yazidis are considered infidels by IS. Thousands fled to the Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq after IS captured the Yazidi-populated Sinjar district in Nineveh Province.

Hundreds of men were killed, while some Yazidi women were held and used as sex slaves.

The Yazidi Progress Party condemned the latest incident as a “heinous crime” and called on Iraqi forces to free those still held by IS. In January, IS released some 200 mainly elderly Yazidis into the hands of Kurdish officials near the city of Kirkuk.

Many of them, held in Mosul, had disabilities or were wounded, though no reason was given by IS for their release.

  26 Killed in Anbar, Baghdad Attacks

At least 12 Iraqi soldiers and paramilitary forces were killed on Saturday by suicide car bombs targeting an outpost in western Anbar Province, while attacks in the capital killed at least 14 civilians, security and medical sources said.

The fighters were part of a campaign announced by the government last month to recapture parts of the Sunni heartland from IS militants, which has held the territory for the past year.

The forces were targeted in a train station in Garma, on the road to IS stronghold of Falluja, 15km to the east. The extremist group claimed the attacks.

“Five of the armored car bombs managed to reach our forces in the train station and blew up. It reduced the station to dirt,” an army officer said. He said the fighters managed to destroy another six car bombs before they reached their targets.

The officer said the death toll was likely higher than 12. Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble and the army had sent reinforcements that continued to clash with militants.