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Biden, Iraq's PM Confer as Reports Detail Ethnic Yazidi Killings

Iraq cities: Mosul, Tikrit, Kirkuk, Karbala, Fallujah, Baghdad

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden conferred Saturday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, reaffirming U.S. commitments to a democratic Iraq and U.S. help in defeating Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

The White House said Biden also voiced condolences for the loss of civilian lives in terror attacks in Baghdad, including at least 17 people reported killed Saturday in twin bomb blasts in the capital.

The talks came as Kurdish news outlets quoted ethnic Yazidi sources as saying that Islamic State terrorists had executed more than 300 Yazidi prisoners at a camp west of Mosul on Friday. A statement from the Yazidi Progressive Party, quoted by Shafaq News, condemned the killings as “heinous criminal acts.”

Yazidi lawmaker Mahma Khalil was quoted as saying those killed included men, women and the elderly. He also said he thought about 1,400 other Yazidis were still held at the prison camp in Tal Afar.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition said military forces continued attacking Islamic State sites in Iraq and Syria on Saturday, including 17 airstrikes in Syria and seven more attacks on Iraqi targets.