Islamic State holding more than 3400 Yazidis since 2014: Kurdish official

Yazidi people

Baghdad ( The Islamic State is still holding more than 3400 people from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority since 2014, according to a Kurdish official.

DPA quoted Khairy Bozani, Kurdistan endowments ministry official in charge of Yazidis affairs, saying that IS militants had kidnapped 6417 Yazidis, including 3547 women, from Sinjar region in 2014.

He added that those who were set free from captivity stood at 2963, including 1070 women and 1571 children.

Those who are still in IS grip are 3454, according to Bozani, who pointed that the total of Yazidis in Iraq had stood at 550.000, 360.000 of whom have been displaced and 1293 killed.

A total of 30 mass graves containing the relics of Yazidi victims currently stands a 30, while hundreds of individual graves were found, according to Bozani. He said 68 holy Yazidi shrines were detonated by IS militants.

Thousands of Yazidi Kurds fled Sanjar, a Mosul region on the borders with Syria, to nearby mountain areas following its fall to Islamic State militants in August 2014. The Kurdish-speaking community 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.

The U.S.-backed Iraqi command fighting IS in Mosul since October has said IS currently controls less than seven percent of Iraq. The war in Mosul has displaced more than 500.000 people, according to the government.

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