The News Minute | September 2, 2014 | 03:15 pm IST
New evidence uncovered by human rights group Amnesty International Tuesday indicates that the Islamic State (IS) Sunni militant organisation has launched an ethnic cleansing campaign in northern Iraq against religious minorities.
A report released by Amnesty International presents a series of accounts from survivors of massacres who describe how dozens of men and boys in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq were rounded up by IS militants, bundled into pick-up trucks and taken to village outskirts to be massacred in groups or shot individually.
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of women and children, along with scores of men, from the Yazidi minority have also been abducted since the IS took control of the area.
"The IS is carrying out despicable crimes and has transformed rural areas of Sinjar into blood-soaked killing fields in its brutal campaign to obliterate all trace of non-Arabs and non-Sunni Muslims," Amnesty Internationalâ€™s Iraq Crisis Response Advisor, Donatella Rovera, said.
Amnesty International has gathered evidence that several mass killings took place in Sinjar in August.
Two of the deadliest incidents took place when IS militants raided the villages of Qiniyeh Aug 3 and Kocho Aug 15.
Groups of men and boys, including children as young as 12, from both villages were seized, taken away and shot.
Since taking control of Mosul June 10, IS militants have also systematically destroyed and damaged places of worship of non-Sunni Muslim communities, including Shia mosques and shrines.