Hundreds of captive Yazidis have been shot and killed by Islamic State jihadis near Mosul, Iraq, according to sources from Yazidi and Iraqi officials, and local news outlets.
The Yazidi Progress Party announced Saturday that 300 Yazidi hostages were killed late Friday in Tal Afar, which is situated roughly 35 miles west of Mosul.
Osama al-Nujafi, Iraq’s Vice-President, said that the reports coming in of the mass slaughter are “horrific and barbaric,” the BBC reports.
Kurdish outlet Shafaq News also reported on the killings, describing the news as a “heinous crime.”
Syrian news service ARA News reported that the “Sharia Court of the Islamic State group reportedly executed 600 hostages from the Yazidi community.” After they had completed the killings, the jihadis reportedly piled the dead bodies onto the al-Ayyadiya highway to showcase their effort.
Assel al-Nujaifi, the governor of Iraq’s Nineveh province, said of the killings: “A new crime was committed by Daesh (Islamic State) against our Yezidi people… IS gangs executed hundreds of innocent Yezidi prisoners.”
“These terrorists are degrading Islamic religion. Muslim clerics should bear their responsibility to show the public the reality of this terrorist group, demonstrating how it is diametrically opposed to the correct, tolerant teachings of the Islamic religion,” added the Nineveh governor.
An official of the Kurdistan Democratic Party told Kurdish outlet basnews that “Women, children and elderly people are confirmed among the victims. IS gathered them in one place and shot them all together.”
Last year, the Islamic State captured thousands of Yazidis after the jihadi group attacked their villages. In January, the militants released about 200 older Yazidis to Kurdish officials, while keeping the vast majority of healthy Yazidis hostage.