The United Nations has said that the crimes committed against the minority Yazidi community in Iraq by the Islamic State (IS) may amount to war crimes and genocide.
The report, which was commissioned by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted that the IS had "the intent... to destroy the Yazidi as a group," reported the BBC. It was based on more than 100 interviews with survivors of attacks in Iraq between June 2014 and February this year.
The atrocities committed against the Yazidi community by IS included, rape of girls as young as six, abduction of women "as spoils of war," "brutal and targeted" killing of hundreds of men and boys in Nineveh province, northwest of Baghdad, in August 2014 and forced separation of families, with boys as young as eight taken to be trained as IS fighters, the report said.
Thousands of Yazidis fled villages in northern Iraq as IS advanced through the territory last summer. The ethnic minority follows an ancient faith that is regarded as devil worship by jihadists. The plight of the Yazidi community was brought to international attention when IS captured the town of Sinjar in August 2014.