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Iraqi children drinking parents' BLOOD to stay alive

August 18, 2014 08:10 IST

Iraqi children drinking parents' BLOOD to stay alive

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Parents trapped with their families on a mountain by Islamic State militants are resorting to cutting themselves so their starving children can drink their blood.

Their horrendous conditions were brought to light after 8,000 Yazidis finally escaped from Mount Sinjar where they have been under siege from jihadist militants for the past one week.

Those who made it out are now reliving the horror and the pain they endured up on the mountain. One man told a Sky News correspondent how he buried his four children, who died of thirst. “There was nowhere to bury them on the mountain so they just put rocks on their bodies. Another said that the children were so thirsty, their parents started cutting their own hands and giving them blood.”

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Image: A displaced woman and child from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, rest as they make their way towards the Syrian border
Photographs: Rodi Said/Reuters

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Iraqi children drinking parents' BLOOD to stay alive

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Refugees in the camp -- some of whom have gunshot wounds -- are surviving on food and water being brought to them by locals. The international community is starting to take action -- but the situation is now unprecedented, according to an aid worker on the ground.

The situation is so dire that in a woman speaking to a Channel 4 reporter said she was forced to make a mountain goat suckle her 2-month-old baby after her own breast milk ran out.

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Image: A displaced family from the minority Yazidi sect wait for food and water.
Photographs: Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

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Iraqi children drinking parents' BLOOD to stay alive

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Around 2,000 Yazidis have made it to a refugee camp in Derabon, a small village near Zakho on the Iraqi Kurdistan-Turkey border. But with no passports, many are having to sit tight and hope the uprising is crushed or pay smugglers to help them avoid the official border crossing at Habur.

One mother who suffers agonising rheumatism told how she and her three young children waded through the TigrisRiver, tip-toed her way through a minefield and climbed through a barbed-wire fence to make it into Turkey. Half-way through the five-hour journey, Amal said the smuggler wanted her children to leave her behind because she was too slow, but they chose to carry her instead.

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Image: A family waits for aid as they wait to flee Mount Sinjar.
Photographs: Rodi Said/Reuters

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Iraqi children drinking parents' BLOOD to stay alive

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Meanwhile, another 130 US troops have arrived in Iraq on what the Pentagon described as a temporary mission to assess the scope of the humanitarian crisis facing thousands of displaced civilians trapped on Sinjar. The British government also remained under pressure to consider military intervention as more aid was delivered to the mountain top.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening confirmed that a third round of successful UK air drops took place on Wednesday night. The supplies included two C130 consignments containing 2,640 reusable water purification containers filled with clean water. More than 500 shelter kits to provide shade in temperatures of more than 40C were also inside the packages. There have now been five successful drops over three nights.

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Image: Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, hold a banner as they take part in a demonstration at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province.
Photographs: Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

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Islamic State, which sees Shi’ites as heretics who deserve death, has seized a series of towns in northern Iraq, in a sweeping advance that has left the Iraqi government reeling and prompted tens of thousands to flee.

The group has declared religious rule in a caliphate straddling Syria and Iraq, offering both Christians and members of the ancient Yazidi sect, whom it calls ‘devil worshippers’, the stark choice between conversion to Islam or death. 


Image: Desperate Iraqis at the Khazair displacement camp for those caught-up in the fighting
Photographs: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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