ISIL releases hundreds of Izadis in Iraq
The Takfiri ISIL terrorist group has released hundreds of Izadi Kurds in Iraq, mostly elderly or sick members of the community, who had been held for months, Press TV reported.
The Izadis were freed on the edge of Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk on Saturday and were received by Kurdish peshmerga forces.
Some sources put the number of those released at around 200. Others, however, mentioned higher figures up to 350.
Those freed were taken to a health center in the town of Altun Kupri on the road to Erbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
"These men and women had been held in [Iraq's northern city of] Mosul," Khodr Domli, a prominent Izadi rights activist, said, adding, "We already have names for 196 and there could be some more."
"Some are wounded, some have disabilities and many are suffering from mental and psychological problems," he noted.
It is not yet clear why the militants set them free; however, some observers believe they may have been a burden on the terror group.
The terrorists "must have decided that they could no longer feed them, look after them. They were a burden," Domli argued.
ISIL launched an offensive in Iraq in June last year and took control of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country's heartland.
Then the militants pushed back Kurdish forces in the north, killing and abducting a large number of Izadi Kurds.
Thousands of Izadi women and girls have been compelled to marry or have been sold into sexual slavery by the extremists since August last year, Amnesty International says.
Over 3,000 Izadi women and children are still estimated to be held captive by the ISIL terrorists.