Around 3,371 Ezidis have been rescued from ISIS: statistics

71 Ezidi mass graves found
Displaced Ezidis, fleeing violence by Islamic State (ISIS) militants, walk toward the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Mount Sinjar. Reuters

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SULAIMANI — Approximately 3,371 Ezidis have been rescued from Islamic State (ISIS) militants, the General Directorate of Ezidi Affairs in the Kurdistan Region said on Tuesday (March 5).

The figure was revealed when the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs released population statistics for the Ezidi community in Iraq.

Before ISIS attacked Sinjar and other Ezidi areas, there were 550,000 Ezidis living in Iraq.

Tragically, more than 360,000 Ezidis were forced from their homes when the militant group attacked in August 2014.

Over 1,293 Ezidis were killed and more than 2,745 children lost their parents.

As many as 71 Ezidis mass graves have been discovered and at least 68 Ezidi temples were blown up by ISIS, the directorate said.

The statistics show that more than 6,417 Ezidis were abducted by ISIS militants. Of those, 3,548 were women and girls and 2,869 were men or boys.

3,371 Ezidis, including 1,165 women and girls, have been rescued since August 2014, but more than 3,000 Ezidis remain missing.

Islamic State militants attacked Sinjar and the Nineveh plain on August 3, 2014 and thousands Ezidis fell to the hands of the militant group.

Proclaiming a theocratic caliphate based on a radical interpretation of Sunni Islam, ISIS has tried to erase the Ezidis’ identity by forcing men to choose between conversion to Islam or death, raping girls as young as nine, selling women at slave markets, and forcing boys to fight for the group.

(NRT Digital Media)