175 medlemmer av yazidi-sekten ble drept da fire selvmordsbombere slo til mot en av deres byer utenfor Mosul tirsdag. Over 200 ble såret.

Dhakil Qassim, mayor of Sinjar, a town near the attacks, said al-Qaida in Iraq was behind the bombings, citing what he said were Kurdish government intelligence reports.

«This is a terrorist act and the people targeted are poor Yazidis who have nothing to do with the armed conflict,» Qassim said. «Al-Qaida fighters are very active in this area near the Syrian border.»

Witnesses also said U.S. helicopters swooped into the area to evacuate the wound to hospitals in Dahuk, a Kurdish city near the Turkish border and about 60 miles north of Qahataniya.

Civilians car and ambulances also rushed the wounded to hospitals in Dahuk, police said.

Ghassan Salim, a 40-year-old Yazidi teacher said, he went to a local hospital to donate blood after seeing lines of ambulances and cars carrying the wounded toward Sinjar hospital.

«We went to the hospital and the wounded told us about the attacks. I gave blood. I saw many maimed people with no legs or hands.

«Many of the wounded were left in the hospital garage or in the streets because the hospital is small,» he said.