Iraq report reveals possible genocide by terrorist group

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An ethnic Yezidi family sleeps in Shekhadi village in Iraq. Photo: UNHCR/N.Colt

Islamic State fighters have committed horrific crimes and could be guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, UN investigators said Thursday.

The top-level UN Human Rights Office report documents a wide range of violations carried out since June 2014 – when the terrorist group also known as ISIL entered Iraq.

While also blaming Iraqi militia for serious abuses, the report details intentional and "targeted" mass killings of Yezidi villagers by IS. Daniel Johnson has more:

Following interviews with survivors, the UN investigators documented targeted Islamic State (IS) attacks against ethnic and religious groups, including the Yezidi community.

Here's Suki Nagra, one of the UN experts:

"What was clear to us, was that there was an intent to destroy the Yezidi population…and that's why we say genocide may have been perpetrated."

Ms Nagra said that IS abducted women and girls as the "spoils of war", while men and boys from the ethnic group were executed.

Girls as young as six were repeatedly raped by IS members after the fighters swept into Iraq in June last year, she explained.

And boys as young as eight were reportedly trained to fight and forced to watch videos of beheadings to toughen them up for the front line.

Human rights investigator Ms Nagra said that up to 1,700 cadets were also massacred by IS fighters who kicked their severed heads around "like footballs".

Meanwhile, report author Hanny Megally urged the UN Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court.

"It's a question of the international community waking up to what's happening," he said.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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