Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blasts kill at least 250 in Kurdish area of Iraq

Four truck bombs killed at least 250 people in two Iraqi villages mostly populated by Yazidis, a minority group whose members have been frequent targets since April, according to the New York Times and the Associated Press.

The blasts, capping one of the worst days of violence in months, exploded in Qahtaniya and Jazeera in northwest Iraq on Tuesday. The location of the villages, near the Syrian border, raised questions about whether the American military effort has pushed insurgents into less populated areas.

Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking sect that mixes elements of Islam with the teaching of an ancient Persian religion, worship an angel figure who is considered to be the devil by some Muslims and Christians.

Since April, when some Yazidis stoned a Yazidi woman to death for dating a Sunni Arab man, members of the sect have become frequent targets of Sunni attacks, including an incident on April 23 when gunmen stopped minibuses full of Yazidi laborers and killed 23 of them.

Many Yazidis have recently moved to villages farther west, where they make up a majority. The deadly assault on Tuesday crushed the hope that there would be safety in numbers, especially near the border with Syria, which officials have described as an entry point for foreign fighters.

For the full articles, click here and here.


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