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8 Jan, 2015 02:18

After ISIS: Residents return to Mt. Sinjar despite mines, devastation – RT exclusive

After ISIS: Residents return to Mt. Sinjar despite mines, devastation – RT exclusive

After Kurdish forces pushed Islamic State militants back from the embattled Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, they returned home only to find devastation. RT traveled to the region to see how people are coping with the scars that war has left behind.

Several weeks ago, Iraqi Kurds broke the siege of Mount Sinjar by Islamic State militants during a two-day attack that involved 8,000 Peshmerga fighters.

The victory freed thousands of minority Christian and Yazidi people who fled to the mountain looking for a safe haven from IS's advance. As many as 200,000 people had been trapped on the mountain without food, water, or shelter since August.

Those who failed to escape to the mountain were brutally murdered by the jihadists.

“Everyone was terrified. Women and children fled to the mountains. Those defenders who stayed were outnumbered; they stood their ground to the bitter end. Islamists had tanks, heavy weapons and artillery. All we had was light arms,” local tribal leader Sheikh Kammu Afda Ammi told RT.

But those who return face a new danger – the city is filled with hidden explosive devices. Specialists have not yet arrived to the area to clear it from mines.

Watch RT’s exclusive report from the Mount Sinjar region: