75% of Yezidi people freed from Islamic State: official

Displaced Yezidi families.

Dohuk ( Seventy-five percent of civilians belonging to the Iraqi Yezidi ethno-religious minority have been released from Islamic State captivity, according to an official in Dohuk province.

Hussein Koro, the head of a government office for Yezidi affairs, said in a press statement on Thursday that more than 150 Yezidi women and children have been liberated from IS since battles were launched by the Iraqi government to retake the city of Mosul from the extremist group.

Koro added that IS transferred some of the kidnapped to its stronghold Syrian city of Raqqa, where there are 2600 Yezidis in militants’ captivity.

Thousands of Yazidi Kurds fled Sanjar to nearby mountain areas following its fall to Islamic State militants in August 2014. The extremist group massacred, enslaved and tortured thousands of that sect.

Data in 2015 from the office on Yazidi kidnapping victims showed that 2640 Yazidis were released from captivity by Islamic State militants over the past two years, but there are 3770 others still in the extremist group’s hold.

The Kurdish-speaking minority came to the spotlight when Islamic State militants, taking over large parts of Iraq, victimized its members, committing massacres and subjecting them to forced conversions, sexual slavery and other reported atrocities.

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