Monday, 18 August 2014

Yazidis haunted by cries for help as militants bury victims alive

'DAYRABUN Iraq (Reuters) - Refugee Samo Ilyas Ali has nine children to feed but he can't focus on the future because the sounds of women and children crying out for help while being buried alive by Islamic State militants in northern Iraq often consume his mind.

Tens of thousand of Yazidis fled their ancient homeland of Sinjar and other villages to escape a dramatic push by the Sunni militants who regard the ethnic minority as devil worshippers who must embrace their radical version of Islam or die.


Ten days ago, Ali and his fellow villagers were suddenly surrounded by Islamic State militants with machine guns at night. They had long beards. Some had face masks and Arabic writing on the sides of their heads.


Suddenly the men began digging ditches - soon to become mass graves.

"We did not understand. Then they started to put people in those holes, those people were alive," said former grocery shop owner Ali, 46, pausing to weep.

"After a while we heard gunfire. I can't forget that scene. Women, children, crying for help. We had to run for our lives, there was nothing to be done for them."'

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