Massacre described in northern Iraq village

Displaced Iraqis ride on a truck on a mountain road near the Turkish-Iraq border, outside Dahuk, in Iraq Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 Islamic militants attacked the towns of Sinjar and Zunmar a few days ago. The extremist group's capture of a string of towns and villages in the north has sent minority communities fleeing for their lives. The Islamic state views members of the Yazidis minority and Shiite Muslims as apostates, and has demanded Christians either convert to Islam or pay a special tax. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Witnesses say Islamic extremists have executed 80 minority Yazidi men in one northern Iraq village and abducted their wives and children.

One man tells The Associated Press that the militants took the men away in groups of a few dozen and shot them dead with assault rifles. He says they then walked among the bodies and used pistols to finish off any who were still alive. The man says he was wounded but survived by pretending to be dead.

Islamic State fighters had surrounded the village (Kocho) earlier this month, demanding its residents convert or die. Yesterday, they attacked.

A Yazidi lawmaker, a Kurdish security official and an Iraqi official from the nearby city of Sinjar gave similar accounts, saying Islamic State fighters had massacred scores of Yazidi men after seizing the village. All said they based their information on the accounts of survivors.

Meanwhile, Iraqis who live near a dam captured by militants tell the AP that the area has been hit by airstrikes today. It’s not clear whether the attacks were being carried out by Iraq’s air force or the U.S.

Islamic State fighters seized the Mosul Dam seized the dam on the Tigris River on Aug. 7.

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