HRW: ISIS kidnaps Shia Turkmen, destroys shrines

Human Rights Watch: Forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) kidnapped at least 40 Shia Turkmen, dynamited four Shia places of worship, and ransacked homes and farms in two Shia villages bordering the Iraqi city of Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. The assaults took place during a violent three-day spree that began on June 23, 2014.

ISIS ordered all 950 Shia Turkmen families to leave the two adjacent farming villages of Guba and Shireekhan, according to nine displaced residents, two local activists, and local journalists. The displaced residents told Human Rights Watch they heard from the few remaining villagers, all Sunni, that ISIS had killed at least some of the kidnapped men, but none had seen bodies or could provide other confirmation. ISIS, an armed extremist Sunni group, remains in control of the two villages.

“This ISIS rampage is part of a long pattern of attacks by armed Sunni extremists on Turkmen and other minorities,” said Letta Tayler, senior terrorism and counterterrorism researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The killing, bombing, and pillaging threatens to displace entire communities, possibly forever.” [Continue reading…]

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