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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/7/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Iraqi religious minority groups are dying of heat, starvation and thirst

Tens of thousands of members of Iraqi religious minority groups - not just Christian or Sunni, have been driven from their homes. The jihadist terrorist group Islamic State have driven them from their homes. Thousands are now dying of thirst and heat on a desert mountainside in the north of the country.

The Yazidi community is especially vulnerable to the sectarian attacks practiced by Islamic State, which refers to them as 'devil-worshipers.'

The Yazidi community is especially vulnerable to the sectarian attacks practiced by Islamic State, which refers to them as "devil-worshipers."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/7/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Iraq, ISIS, stranded, religious minorities, Yazidi


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Some 40 children have already died from the heat and dehydration, according to UNICEF. Upwards of 40,000 more are sheltering within the barren mountains, without food or water. It's estimated that 25,000 children may be stranded.

Hundreds of adults, particularly men but also women and children, are already feared to have been killed or abducted, ISIS forces surround their place of refuge.

SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --

The majority of the refugees, who fled their home city of Sinjar when it was seized by Islamic State at the weekend, are members of the Yazidi community. The Yazidis are an offshoot from Zoroastrianism and the "Peacock Angel" at the center of their beliefs is associated by some Sunni Muslims with Satan.

The Yazidi community is especially vulnerable to the sectarian attacks practiced by Islamic State, which refers to them as "devil-worshipers."

"We are being slaughtered. Our entire religion is being wiped off the face of the earth. I am begging you, in the name of humanity," a Yazidi MP, Vian Dakhil, was quoted as saying in parliament, as she broke down in tears.

There are also Christians and Muslims among the refugees in the mountains. The shortage of food was forcing them to hunt for wild game.

One witness says that his relatives were among 30 members of two families seized by Islamic State from the village of Khana Sor, north-west of Sinjar.

"They killed the 15 men and took the women and children and until now we do not know what happened to them, where they are or if they are alive or dead," he said.

Islamic State, which also controls nearly a third of neighboring Syria, swept across most Sunni parts of Iraq in a dramatic strike at the beginning of June, seizing the second biggest city, Mosul, and the birth-place of Saddam Hussein, Tikrit.

ISIS troops have filmed themselves carrying out mass executions of Shia soldiers. Sunni soldiers were made to pledge allegiance before being sent home.

ISIS fighters continue to attack the edges of Shia majority areas of the center and south of Iraq, including within a few miles of Baghdad, but has held off a full frontal attack. It seemed also to have been held up by Kurdish forces in the north and east, who guard the Kurdistan autonomous region.

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