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Iraq’s Yazidis Flee Violence

Islamic State militants have killed at least 500 members of Iraq's Yazidi ethnic minority during their offensive in northern Iraq, and scattered tens of thousands.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing fighters from the Islamist militant group ISIS, walk toward the Syrian border from the Sinjar mountains on Aug. 11, 2014.

ISIS has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, prompting tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians to flee for their lives.

Stringer/iraq / X80014

A Yazidi woman fleeing violence covers her feet with clothes as she walks toward the Syrian border on Aug. 11.

The Yazidis were just one of the communities fleeing their villages from advancing ISIS fighters who drove looted armored vehicles and fired machine guns and raised their black flag over towns across northwest Iraq in recent weeks.

Stringer / X80002

Displaced Yazidis ride in the back of a truck as they make their way towards the Syrian border on Aug. 10.

Stringer/iraq / X80014

A Yazidi man aids a woman as they make their way toward the Syrian border on Aug. 11.

Stringer / X80002

Yazidis re-enter Iraq from Syria at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province, on Aug. 10.

Exhausted and terrorized, many of the Yazidis of northern Iraq who straggled into the Kurdish town of Fishkhabour after escaping the Islamic State deathtrap of Mount Sinjar recalled the agony of leaving relatives exposed on the mountain.

Stringer/iraq / X80014

Iraqi Yazidi refugees wait in line to receive food in Sirnak, Turkey, on Aug. 12. Refugees fleeing attacks from ISIS fighters crossed the Habur border post on the Turkish-Iraqi border and were placed in houses and tents nearly 2 miles away from the Silopi district of Sirnak, Turkey.

Anadolu Agency / Anadolu

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle at a camp at Derike, Syria, on Aug. 10. Kurdish authorities at the border believe some 45,000 Yazidis passed the river crossing in the past week and thousands more are still stranded in the mountains.

Khalid Mohammed / AP

Yazidis reach for humanitarian aid at the Iraq-Syria border on Aug. 10.

Khalid Mohammed / AP

Yazidis settle at a camp at Derike, Syria, on Aug. 10.

Khalid Mohammed / ASSOCIATED PRESS