90,000 Yazidis fled Iraq since IS emergence: Kurdish official

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Duhok ( Around 90,000 Yazidi out of a total of 550,000 in Iraq have immigrated to Europe, Kurdish official said.

“350,000 Yazidis out of a total of 550,000 in Iraq were displaced after their regions in the northwest of Iraq were held by Islamic State,” Khairi Bozani, the head of the Yazidi Affairs Office of the Kurdistan Regional Government, told IRNA news agency.

“1,293 Yazidis have been killed by IS since its emergence in Iraq. 43 mass graves of Yazidis were found,” Bozani added.

“A big part of Yazidi religious places were destroyed by IS,” Bozani said.

Most of the remaining Yazidis, according to the Kurdish official, “settled in Duhok province, however, some of them seek leaving Iraq.”

Many Yazidis were persecuted and held in Mosul by Islamic State, which considered them devil-worshippers.

A study on the number of Yazidis affected showed that at least 9,900 of Iraq’s Yazidis were killed or kidnapped in just days in an attack by the militants in 2014.

About 3,100 Yazidis were killed – with more than half shot, beheaded or burned alive – while about 6,800 others were kidnapped to become sex slaves or fighters, according to the report published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine.

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