The Islamic state still holds nearly 2000 Iraqi women as slaves, most of them Yazidis, and more than 300,000 Yazidis are still displaced almost two years after the group swept into the northern Iraqi district of Sinjar, according to a new United Nations report.
Sinjar district was home to more than 300,000 people — mostly Yazidis but also other ethnic minorities — before August 3, 2014, when Islamic State conquered the district, and at least 200,000 people fled north toward the safety of Kurdistan. Approximately 55,000 others fled to the barren slopes of Mt. Sinjar, which Islamic State surrounded. As temperatures passed 100 degrees, dozens perished before US airstrikes and Kurdish Peshmerga could open a corridor to allow the civilians to escape on August 8.
The UN now estimates that between 2,500 and 5,500 Yazidis were killed during Islamic State’s offensive and subsequent occupation of the area’s towns and villages. The group also abducted around 6,300 Yazidis, including 3,537 women and 2,859 men, and while many escaped, about 3,800 remained in captivity as of May 2016, the UN reported, including 1,935 women.
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