Displaced Iraqi children from the Yazidi community ride in the back of a truck across the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 11, 2014. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Unknown numbers, perhaps hundreds, of men, women and children went missing in the chaos as tens of thousands of Iraqis from the Yezidi religious minority fled in a panic from marauding militants, then spent a week hidden in a barren mountain range before finally making their way into neighboring Syria.At the Semalka crossing, crowds of Yezidis made their way back from Syria on Sunday and Monday into the relative safety of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region in the north.Two other men earlier told the Associated Press that they saw militants round up women at a checkpoint as they shot the men in two different villages.Like others fleeing Yezidi-majority villages in the area, Qassem's family scrambled up the nearby Sinjar mountains, a 60-kilometer range that the Yezidis consider a holy site. asked another elderly man, Hashem Saleh, when he saw a crowd gather around a reporter. His daughters, 12 and 15 years old, and two sons, 24 and 14, were gone, lost as the crowds descended from the mountain through a desert valley toward the Syrian border.
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