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Source: Fox News

Islamic militants killed 90 members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority in a northern village, sources told Fox News on Friday.

The Kurdish-speaking ethnic and religious group, which numbers in the hundreds of thousands in Iraq, has been persecuted in the north by Islamic State militants, with at least 500 killed prior to Friday’s news, according to Iraq’s human rights minister.

Shortly after receiving reports of civilians being attacked, U.S. forces conducted airstrikes on Islamic State vehicles near Sinjar, according to a statement released by Central Command Friday.

The latest killings came just a day after President Obama said U.S. air strikes and humanitarian aid drops on Sinjar mountain, where thousands of Yazidi have been stranded in an Islamic State siege had been ended. 

“[Militants] arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon,” senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters. “We believe it’s because of their creed: convert or be killed.”

A Yazidi lawmaker and another senior Kurdish official also said the killings had taken place and that the women of the village were kidnapped.

Iraqi and Yazidi leaders say the brutal Islamic State fighters have buried Yazidi men alive, killed children and kidnapped women to be slaves.

“We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic States have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar,” Sudani told Reuters Sunday.

Sinjar is the ancient home of the Yazidis, but also one of several towns captured by the Sunni militants who view the community as “devil worshipers” and demand conversion to Islam under threat of death.

The Islamic State, which has declared a Sharia state caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, forced tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians to flee their homes or face certain death.

The Yazidis, followers of an ancient religion derived from Zoroastrianism, are spread over northern Iraq and are part of the country’s Kurdish minority.