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foreign affairs

Iraq's Yazidis beg for help as ISIS continues 'massacre' of religious minority

Islamic State militants murdered 80 Yazidi men and kidnapped dozens more women and children from Kocho, a small village in Iraq, on Friday, The Associated Press reports.

Both survivors of the killings and officials said ISIS fighters had surrounded the village nearly two weeks ago, threatening death for any Yazidi who refused to convert to Islam. On Friday, the militants moved in and made good on their ultimatum. One man who managed to survive by faking his own death said the ISIS members herded the men away in groups, shooting them at the edge of the village and then walking among the bodies to finish off any who appeared to still be alive.

While many Yazidis who were stranded on Mount Sinjar, in Iraq, managed to escape under cover of U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes, thousands more are still trapped in areas of the country controlled by ISIS. That has prompted some members of the religious minority group to ask for more international aid.

"When the residents (refused to convert), the massacre took place," Mahma Khalil, a Yazidi lawmaker, said. "We have been calling on the U.S. administration and Iraqi government to intervene and help the innocent people, but it seems that nobody is listening."