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Amnesty: 'Ethnic cleansing' by IS
02 Sep 2014 14:02
Amnesty International says it has gathered "gruesome evidence" of ethnic cleansing by Islamic State jihadists in Iraq in its campaign to obliterate all traces of non-Arabs and non-Sunni Muslims.
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The United Nations is to investigate reports of targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, slavery, sexual abuse, and the besieging of entire communities.
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In a report published today, the rights group said IS jihadists committed "war crimes, including mass summary killings and abductions".
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"The massacres and abductions being carried out by the Islamic State provide harrowing new evidence that a wave of ethnic cleansing against minorities is sweeping across northern Iraq," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's Senior Crisis Response Adviser currently in northern Iraq.
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The Sunni radical IS has pressed a campaign of terror in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq, which it has declared an Islamic "caliphate," carrying out decapitations, crucifixions and public stonings.
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In June, the group launched a lightning offensive in Iraq, overrunning parts of five provinces and targeting minorities there including Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, Shia Turkmen and Christians.
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"The Islamic State 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."
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The Amnesty report – ‘Ethnic cleansing on historic scale: the Islamic State's systematic targeting of minorities in northern Iraq’ - provides witness accounts of mass killings.
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The watchdog said two of the "deadliest" incidents took place in the Yazidi villages of Qiniyeh and Kocho on 3 August and 15 August respectively.
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"The number of those killed in these villages alone runs into the hundreds," it said.
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