Islamic State releases 350 Yazidis in northern Iraq

An elderly woman is carried by Kurdish security officials. Credit: Reuters

Around 350 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority have been freed by Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.

The captives - delivered to safety in the Kurdish-controlled region - were almost entirely elderly, disabled or unwell, and included several infants with serious illnesses.

Read: Rape, torture and sex slavery: Life as an IS prisoner

A Yazidi boy among the released captives appeared to have damaged skin. Credit: Reuters

A man in his 70s, among those released, said he and others forced onto a bus yesterday by the militant group feared they were going to be executed.

Instead, they were driven to the IS-controlled Shirqat area, spending the night there before being delivered southwest of the Kurdish city of Kirkuk.

An elderly woman is carried by security officials. Credit: Reuters

Thousands of Yazidis were either killed or captured by the radical group last summer, while many more had to be rescued after fleeing to barren Mount Sinjar to escape the attackers.

The militant group had warned the Yazidis - whose beliefs combine elements of a number of ancient Middle Eastern religions - that they would have to embrace their radical vision of Islam or be killed.

Watch: John Irvine on the desperate struggle to save Iraq's stranded Yazidis