Bodies of 25 Yazidis found in Iraq mass grave

Yazidis fleeing the Sinjar area in northern Iraq following an ISIS offensive. (Reuters)

Iraqi Kurdish forces have uncovered a mass grave containing the remains of about 25 members of the Yazidi minority believed to have been killed by the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), local officials have said.

“Peshmerga forces discovered a mass grave yesterday (Sunday) containing the remains of about 25 people -- men, children and women -- from the Yazidi (sect) who were killed by” ISIS, Myaser Haji Saleh, a local official responsible for the Sinjar area, told AFP.

A peshmerga lieutenant colonel said the grave was found near Sinuni during a search for explosives that ISIS often leaves behind, posing a threat to security forces and civilians even after they withdraw.

“Our forces were searching for explosives and mines planted by (ISIS) in the area and found the grave during the search,” the officer said.

Some of the victims had been shot dead and others “slaughtered” using knives, he said.

ISIS militants reportedly killed hundreds of members of Iraq's Yazidi ethnic minority during their offensive in the north of the country.

The militant group had also buried alive some of their victims, including women and children, Iraq's human rights minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani had said. He added that almost 300 women were kidnapped as slaves.

The Yazidis, followers of an ancient religion derived from Zoroastrianism, are spread over northern Iraq and are part of the country's Kurdish minority.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
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