Countries in the Middle East have shot up an annual list of places where vulnerable minorities are most at risk of genocide, political killing and systematic repression, a human rights group said on Wednesday.
Syria tops the 2015 Peoples Under Threat list, compiled by Minority Rights Group International (MRG). The civil conflict there, now in its fifth year, has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions.
MRG said Shi'ites, Alawites, Christians, Kurds, Palestinians and political targets are particularly threatened.
"Extreme sectarianism ... has now infected much of the country," it said in a report released with the list. "Only in the Kurdish-held regions of the north ... has there been a serious attempt at establishing an inclusive democracy."