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Iraq’s Yazidis still living in fear a month after targeted bombings

14 September 2007

A month after the Iraq’s worst sectarian attacks that left some 200 people killed, the targeted community, the Yazidis continue to live in absolute fear barely able to leave their homes.

"The situation has got so bad that the Yazidis just can’t get out of their locality. They can’t move around to other cities," says Ali Seedo Rasho, President of the Yazidi Cultural Association in Iraq. Rasho says because of the worsening security situation he has recently had to move to Syria.

There has been no major attack against the Yazidis since the August 14th blasts that left more than 400 people killed and injured, but daily life for followers of the pre-Islamic sect is deteriorating.

"These are already very poor people but now they can’t farm, they are afraid to leave their homes to sell their produce because they will be targeted. It is like they are in jail," Rasho says.

The Yazidis are a pre-Islamic religious sect found in northern Iraq, Syria and Turkey, as well as other countries, and they are thought to number close to half a million across the world.