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Iraqi forces free Yazidi girl kidnapped by IS

A young girl celebrates the Yazidi New Year on April 18, 2017 [AFP]

Date of publication: 21 April, 2017

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The 11-year-old girl had been captured by IS in the village of Kosho in the Sinjar region, along with her mother and sisters.
Iraqi forces have freed an 11-year-old Yazidi girl who was kidnapped and sold as a slave in Mosul by the Islamic State group in 2014, police said Friday.

The girl was captured by the militant group in the village of Kosho in the Yazidi Sinjar region, along with her mother and sisters.

She was freed during an elite counter-terrorism operation by security forces in the west Mosul neighbourhood of Tanek on Thursday, federal police chief Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat said in a statement.

"They who kidnap these children are monsters," Major General Jaafar al-Baatat, Jawdat's top aide, said in a statement which was released with a video showing the girl at a police base south of Mosul.

Vian Dakhil, a prominent Yazidi lawmaker who helped bring her minority's plight to the world's attention when IS swept through the region in 2014, said the girl's release had been carefully planned.

"When Daesh (IS) took her village on August 15, 2014, she was eight years old and she was kidnapped with her mother and her sisters," she told AFP. "She was initially taken to Tal Afar and was sold on to Mosul."

Yazidis are neither Arab nor Muslim and mostly live in northern Iraq around the town of Sinjar, which has been destroyed in prolonged fighting.

When IS swept across the region three years ago it carried out massacres against the Yazidi minority which the United Nations said qualified as genocide.

IS captured Yazidi women and turned them into sex slaves to be sold and exchanged across their self-proclaimed "caliphate".

Around 3,000 of them are believed to remain in captivity.

International human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney urged the UN to look into gathering evidence of war crimes, calling the treatment of the Yazidi people "some of the worst crimes of our generation".

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