Los Angeles Times

More than 3,000 Yazidis still missing after collapse of Islamic State's self-styled caliphate

BAADRA, Iraq - Kept as a slave by Islamic State militants, the mother prayed for her rescue and made a promise to God: If she ever saw her 10 children again, she would fast for three months to demonstrate her gratitude.

Her prayers were partially answered. In September, as the militants were being driven from their last strongholds in Iraq and Syria, she was freed and reunited with four daughters and a son. Her daylight fast has now come to an end.

But five other sons, along with her husband, are still missing.

"I honestly don't know what hope is anymore," said the woman, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Seve, so as not to endanger family members who might still be held captive. "There are very few places that haven't been liberated, and my children still aren't back."

Her family belongs to Iraq's Yazidi minority, followers of an ancient faith linked to Zoroastrianism that was targeted as heretical by the militants who overran its heartland near Mount Sinjar in August 2014.

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