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ISIS uses WhatsApp and Telegram apps to sell captured women as sex slaves

The Islamic State militants are selling Yazidi sex slaves like commodities through encrypted messaging smartphone applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Telegram.

According to the Associated Press, an activist with the Yazidi community documenting the transactions online shared the online postings, but refused to be identified for fear of repercussions.

(REUTERS/NACHO DOCE)An illustration photo shows the Whatsapp application logo on a mobile phone in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 2, 2016.

One of the sex advertisements appearing on Telegram read, "Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old.... Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon."

An ad on WhatsApp appeared with a photo of a mother with her two babies, a 3-year-old and a 7-month old, and priced at $3,700.

"She wants her owner to sell her," read the ad.

A German IS militant named Abu Assad Almani also tried to sell off a Yazidi woman on Facebook at the steep price of about $8,000, leading his friends to haggle.

"What makes her worth that price?" asked Facebook friend Romeo Langhorne. "Does she have exceptional skill?"

The online database accessible through smartphones reportedly includes head shots of the sex slaves and their corresponding "owners."

Founder of the German-Iraqi aid organization Luftbrucke Irak, Mirza Danai, said registering the women this way helps the militants keep track of the captured women, most of whom persistently try to escape.

Lamiya Aji Bashar, 18, managed to escape in March after four failed attempts. However, she blinded her right eye and her face scarred while two of her fleeing companions died when a land mine exploded.

"I managed in the end, thanks to God, I managed to get away from those infidels," she told AP. "Even if I had lost both eyes, it would have been worth it, because I have survived them."

Spokesman for Whatsapp, Matt Steinfeld, said they have a zero tolerance approach for criminal use of the app and encourage users to report such activities. Telegram spokesman, Markus Ra, spoke in the same vein.

"Telegram is extremely popular in the Middle East, among other regions," he said. "This, unfortunately, includes the more marginal elements and the broadest law-abiding masses alike."

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