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Kurdistan

Kurdistan Region official announces rescue of more Yezidis from Syria

By Rudaw 24/6/2017
A number of Yezidi women and children flee ISIS near the border of Syria. File photo: Rudaw
A number of Yezidi women and children flee ISIS near the border of Syria. File photo: Rudaw
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region — Six more Yezidis under the captivity of ISIS in Syria have been rescued and are now in safety. One of them is the nephew of Nadia Murad, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
 
Khairi Buzani, the director general for Yezidi affairs at the ministry of religious affairs, told Rudaw that six more Yazidis have been rescued in Raqqah and Mayadini cities in Syria. In cooperation with the KRG’s office, they have now been taken to safety.
 
“Out of the six rescued ones, two of them are women and four are children. They are from the villages of Kocho and Siba Sheikh Khidir in the town of Shingal,” he said.

They are expected to reunite with their family members on Saturday in Duhok.

He said one of them is the nephew of Nadia Murad.

Murad hadn't immediately confirmed the rescue of her family members.

Nadia Murad is an ISIS survivor from Shingal and UN Goodwill Ambassador from Kocho, a small farming village south of Shingal, that was overrun by ISIS on August 3, 2014.

Kocho is a symbol of ISIS atrocities against Yezidi people. It is 18 kilometers south of Shingal town. Some 4,000 Yezidis used to live there. 

Nadia was taken captive along with her two sisters. Six of her nine brothers were killed in Kocho. Her mother was also killed by the extremist group.
 
When ISIS militants attacked Shingal and its surroundings in August 2014, they arrested thousands of Yezidis, many from the village of Kocho. Some of them were collectively killed in the village. Others, girls and women, were sold or taken by ISIS. 

According to data in March from the KRG Office of Yezidi Affairs, of the 6,255 Yezidis who were kidnapped in August 2014, 3,878 are still in ISIS captivity with nearly 1,800 of them being women and children. 

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