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UN Says Assault On Yazidis May Be Genocide Attempt

A United Nations official says evidence strongly indicates that the Islamic State group's assault on Iraq's Yazidi religious minority is "an attempt to commit genocide."

Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic spoke to reporters October 21 after a weeklong visit to Iraq, where he interviewed at least 30 Yazidis from various parts of the country.

Thousands of Yazidis have been shot, buried alive, or sold into slavery as the Islamic State group swept across parts of northern and western Iraq in August.

IS regards Yazidis as devil worshippers.

Tens of thousands fled mostly to the Kurdish-held parts of northern Iraq. Hundreds of women and girls were captured by fighters.

An estimated 7,000 Yazidis stayed and have been forced to convert to the IS group's harsh interpretation of Islam.

U.S. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes in Iraq in August, citing the duty to prevent an impending genocide of Yazidis.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP