5,500 Iraqis Killed Since Islamic State Began Its Military Drive, U.N. Says

More than 5,500 people have been killed in Iraq since an offensive by the Islamic State militant group began in June, the United Nations reported on Thursday, including hundreds of minority Yazidis slaughtered en masse. The report takes particular note of the extremists’ campaign of physical and sexual violence against women and children, with accounts of women being captured and sold as sex slaves to Islamic State recruits, and children being used as soldiers.

Those deaths represent more than half of the 9,343 civilians killed in Iraq from January through September, the United Nations said in a report by its Iraq mission and its Geneva human rights office, emphasizing that its figures were “absolute minimums.” The total casualty count for the year so far, including wounded, is at least 26,000.