Militants from the Islamic State (IS) reportedly kidnapped nearly 120 children from schools in various neighborhoods in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, and have now allegedly taken them to training camps run by the militant group entrenched in Iraq and Syria.
Citing an anonymous source, local television network al-Sumaria reported that militants entered school campuses in the neighborhoods of al-Qayyarah, al-Shura, Badoush, and al-Baaj, and took the children to an unknown location. The abductees are reportedly between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.
While some of the children are believed to have been taken to training camps, others will reportedly be used for ransom from their wealthy families, according to theTimes of Israel. In March, reports from the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that 400 children had been recruited by IS in Syria so far in 2015.
Separately, a report in the Toronto Star this weekend revealed the struggle of a 9-year-old Yazidi girl, who was allegedly raped by 10 IS militants and is now pregnant. The sexual assault occurred while the girl was in their custody, as one of the hundreds of girls and women from the religious minority group kidnapped since the militant group began its siege on Iraq and Syria in June.
The girl eventually was returned to her family in Iraqi Kurdistan, as an estimated 500 of the kidnapped women have been, but she now faces serious health risks due to the pregnancy, according to Canadian-based aid worker Yousif Daoud, who spoke to the Star using a pseudonym. The girl is said to be receiving treatment from a medical charity in Germany. He commented on the physical and psychological abuse she suffered, and noted the risk inherent in her pregnancy.
"This girl is so young she could die if she delivers a baby," Daoud said. "Even a caesarian section is dangerous."
Last week, more than 200 Yazidi captives, which included children and the elderly, and who were exhibiting signs of abuse and in bad health, were released by IS. According to peshmerga commander General Hiwa Abdullah, the abductees were returned in an area southwest of the northern Iraq city Kirkuk, in the town of Himera. IS militants initially captured the Yazidis during the group's takeover of Sinjar, an Iraqi town near the border with Syria. This invasion forced thousands from the religious minority to flee.
It is unclear why the Yazidis were released, but the news comes amid reports from the Kurdistan Democratic Party official Saeed Mamouzini claiming IS executed 21 of its own militants in Mosul who were allegedly injured in an altercation with security forces in Iraq. The executions reportedly occurred in public.
On Saturday, news emerged claiming IS militants executed 33 people near the western city of Ramadi located in the Anbar province. The individuals had reportedly been taken from the Albu Farraj areas of the city on Friday, with women and children among them. Some were allegedly executed for security force cooperation. The militant groups incursion into Albu Farraj pushed dozens of families out.
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