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A Yazidi refugee girl from the minority Yazidi sect poses for a photograph on the first day of the new school term at Sharya refugee camp, on the outskirts of Duhok province

A Yazidi refugee girl from the minority Yazidi sect poses for a photograph on the first day of the new school term at Sharya refugee camp, on the outskirts of Duhok province, October 17, 2015. REUTERS/Ari JalaFOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

IS likely committing genocide against Yazidi minority in Iraq

Islamic State jihadists appear to be committing genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq, UN investigators said, calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice at the International Criminal Court.

The UN human rights office published a horrifying report describing killings, torture, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers by the extremists, suggesting they may be guilty of "war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide."

The report, based on interviews with more than 100 witnesses and survivors of attacks in Iraq between June 2014 and February 2015, especially highlights brutal IS attacks on the Yazidis.

IS, which controls a swathe of territory in Iraq and neighbouring Syria, launched a series of systematic and widespread attacks on the Yazidi minority's heartland in the northern Nineveh province last August.

The jihadists consistently separated out men and boys over the age of 14 to be executed, while younger boys were forced to become child solders and women and girls were abducted as the "spoils of war", according to the investigators.

"These attacks were aimed at destroying the Yazidi as a group," said Suki Nagra, head of investigation, suggesting IS was guilty of "genocide" against the minority.

The report, which was ordered by the UN Human Rights Council last September following a request from the Iraqi government, pointed out that some villages "were entirely emptied of their Yazidi population." (AFP)


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