Some 80 members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority have been massacred by Islamic State militants in a village in Iraq’s north, Kurdish officials said.
“They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon,” senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters.“We believe it’s because of their creed: convert or be killed.”
In addition to the murders, local women were kidnapped from the village, another Kurdish official source told Reuters. A local Yazidi lawmaker confirmed the information.
According to BasNews, a Kurdish website, it was the Yazidi minority village of Kojo some 20 km south of Sinjar that came under attack by the Islamic State (former ISIS) radicals.
BasNews reports that around 80 men – the village’s whole male population – was slaughtered, while all the women were kidnapped.
The killings in the village lasted for about an hour, according to eyewitness reports, based on the testimony of Yazidi MP Mahama Khalil who spoke to survivors. Apparently, the massacre followed a five day ultimatum to convert to Islam or die.
“[An IS fighter] told me that the Islamic State had spent five days trying to persuade villagers to convert to Islam and that a long lecture was delivered about the subject today,” Reuters quotes a man from a neighbouring village as saying. “He then said the men were gathered and shot dead. The women and girls were probably taken to Tal Afar because that is where the foreign fighters are.”
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