Islamic State terrorists reportedly executed as many as 600 Yazidi followers near Mosul, Iraq, on Friday in the latest show of force by the radical militant group.
Several news outlets reported the mass murder Saturday, one day after IS militants (also known as Daesh), lined up hundreds of Yazidis in front of a ditch near a highway and mowed them down with gunfire.
ARA News reported the story along with a photograph that purportedly shows the executions. In the image, the victims are seen on their knees on the edge of a ditch and their killers in firing positions behind them. Dust kicked up in the photo indicates that the photo was taken at the instant they started firing.
The murders reportedly happened in northern Iraq's Talafar district, near Mosul. The militants than piled the bodies in the ditch, the ARA News report said.
"Without a direct intervention by the international community, Iraq will be witnessing more genocides against innocent people at the hands of the IS terrorists," one of the Islamic fighters told ARA News. He also stated that about 700 kidnapped Yazidis were transferred to the Talafar district since Friday.
Yazidis are members of a Kurdish religious group who have faced persecution by Iraq's Sunni Muslims for years. The group have been targeted by Islamic State terrorists since last August.
Aseel al-Nujaifi, the governor of Iraq's Yazidi-native Nineveh province, reportedly confirmed the executions and ARA News posted a video depicting the incident to YouTube.
"A new crime was committed by Daesh (Islamic State) against our Yazidi people on Friday," he said in a statement. "IS gangs executed hundreds of innocent Yazidi prisoners."
BAS News reported that some Shi'ite Muslims were executed, as well.
"Women, children and elderly people are confirmed among the victims. IS gathered them in one place and shot them all together," Kurdistan Democratic Party official Hassan Khallo told BAS News. "Along with the the Yazidis, IS militants killed a number of Shi'ite people as well."
"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," al-Nujaifi added.
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