The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has kidnapped hundreds of Yazidi women, an Iraqi offical said Friday.
The Yazidi are a religious minority in the mostly Muslim country, and the women are being held in schools across Mosul.
ISIS took over the Nineveh Province capital two months ago, and forced hundreds of thousands of Christians and Shiite Muslims to flee. The terrorists have targeted Yazidi women under age 35, and their families fear for their fate in capitivity.
The family members have contacted the Iraq Human Rights Ministry for help.
"We think that the terrorists by now consider them slaves and they have vicious plans for them," Ministry spokesman Kamil Amin told the Associated Press. "We think that these women are going to be used in demeaning ways by those terrorists to satisfy their animalistic urges in a way that contradicts all the human and Islamic values."
A U.S. official speaking to AP under the condition of anonymity confirmed that Yazidi women have been kidnapped, and said the extremists intend to sell them or marry them off. The official said it is unclear how many women have been taken.
Like the Christians and Shiite Muslims, the Yazidi have been persecuted because of their religious beliefs. Their ancient spiritual beliefs are considered heretical by the extremist Sunni Muslims. Tens of thousands of Yazidis were driven from Sinjar, Iraq last week, and the United Nations estimates that 50,000 Yazidis - including about 25,000 children - are living in the mountains.
In six months, over 5,500 people have been killed by the terrorist regime that seeks to control Iraq and Syria.
On Thursday, ISIS launched an attack against Kurdish troops guarding the Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq.
The hydroelectric structure, formerly known as the Saddam Dam, provides water and electricity to Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. Fox News reported that ISIS has been fighting soldiers for control of the dam for nearly a week. Thursday's assault resulted in at least one death.