Islamic State releases 200 Yazidis held in captivity for 5 months

Islamic Extremism

In this photo taken on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, Kurdish soldiers help move an elderly Yazidi after they were released by Islamic militants. The Islamic State group released about 200 Yazidis held for five months in Iraq, mostly elderly, infirm captives who likely slowed the extremists down, Kurdish military officials said Sunday. Almost all of the freed prisoners are in poor health and bore signs of abuse and neglect. (AP Photo)

The Islamic State group released at least 200 Yazidis after five months of captivity in Iraq, Kurdish military officials said on Sunday.

They were mostly elderly, disabled prisoners who likely slowed the extremists down.

The militants transported the captives from the northern town of Tal Afar, where they had been held for the past five months after their towns were raided last summer.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled in August when militants captured the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the Syrian border. But hundreds were taken captive by the group, particularly women.

Iraqi and international authorities later said that some Yazidi women were sold into slavery.

The Sunni militants of the Islamic State group view Yazidis and Shiite Muslims as apostates, and have demanded Christians either convert to Islam or pay a special tax.

Report complied with information from The Associated Press