- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 10, 2014

Islamic State militants have reportedly killed at least 500 members of Iraq’s Yazidi ethnic minority as hundreds of families in the country’s north face daily deadlines to convert to Islam or die.

Iraq’s human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said the Sunni militants had also buried alive some of their victims, including women and children, and kidnapped at least 200 women as slaves from the town of Sinjar, Reutersreported.

“We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic States have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar,” Mr. Sudani told Reuters.

A deadline reportedly passed at midday on Sunday for 300 Yazidi families to convert to Islam or face death.

“Some of the victims, including women and children were buried alive in scattered mass graves in and around Sinjar,” Mr. Sudani said.

“In some of the images we have obtained there are lines of dead Yazidis who have been shot in the head while the Islamic State fighters cheer and wave their weapons over the corpses,” he told Reuters. “This is a vicious atrocity.”