UK & World News

  • 16 August 2014, 21:13

Islamic Fighters 'Kill 400 And Take Families'

More than 400 Yazidi men have been killed and their families abducted by militants in northern Iraq, local officials have said.

A senior official at the Ministry of Peshmerga, in the Kurdish-controlled region of the country, told Sky News women and children had been seized by fighters from Islamic State (IS), also known as Islamic State In Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and taken to Tal Afar, near Mosul.

The men from the village of Kocho were reportedly killed over two days - 82 on Friday and another 312 on Saturday. 

Earlier, Yazidi fighter Mohsen Tawwal told AFP by telephone that he had seen a large number of bodies after entering the village.

"We made it into a part of Kocho village, where residents were under siege, but we were too late," he said.

"There were corpses everywhere. We only managed to get two people out alive. The rest had all been killed."

Thousands of Yazidis - people from a minority sect with an ancient religion - have been forced to flee their homes by the IS advance across northern Iraq.

IS has swept across a large part of northern and central Iraq, seizing Mosul and threatening Baghdad and the Kurdish capital Irbil.

On Saturday, airstrikes targeted the group around Mosul Dam. IS seized the dam, Iraq's largest, on August 7.

The Ministry of Defence said it deployed a US-made spy plane over the north of the country to monitor the humanitarian crisis and the movements of IS fighters.

The converted Boeing KC-135 tanker - called a Rivet Joint - is monitoring mobile phone calls and other communications.

Two British planes landed in the Kurdish regional capital Irbil on Saturday, carrying humanitarian supplies.

Iraq's human rights minister Mohammed Shia al Sudani said militants had killed at least 500 members of the Yazidi community.

Some of the victims, including women and children, were buried alive, he added.

Some 1.5 million people have been displaced by the fighting since the IS advance began in June.

It comes after the UN Security Council blacklisted six Islamist militants on Friday and threatened sanctions against anyone who helped arm or supply them.

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