Thousands of people in Germany protested against the persecution of the Yazidi minority in Iraq.

Police say at least 10,000 people attended a demonstration in the north German city of Hannover on Saturday.

Protesters carried banners demanding that the international community protect the Yazidi people and other minorities from the Islamist extremists.

Smaller demonstrations were also scheduled in other cities across Germany, which has one of the biggest Yazidi diasporas worldwide.

The Yazidis are a centuries-old religious minority viewed as apostates by the extremist Islamic State group in Iraq.

The protests occurred as the German government considers whether to provide military equipment, possibly including weapons, to Kurdish fighters battling the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press