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Iraqi forces retake villages on way to town besieged by jihadists

Published on Aug 28, 2014 11:36 PM

KIRKUK, Iraq (AFP) - Iraqi security forces backed by volunteer militiamen on Thursday retook several villages located on the way to the town of Amerli, which jihadists have besieged for months, officers said.

Time is running out for Amerli's Shi'ite Turkmen-majority residents, who face danger both because of their faith, which jihadists consider heresy, and their resistance against the militants, which has drawn deadly retribution elsewhere.

And the town, besieged since militants led by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group launched a sweeping offensive in June, is without electricity and running dangerously short on both food and water.

Army Staff Lieutenant-General Abdulamir al-Zaidi told AFP that villages north of Al-Adhaim were retaken as part of a major operation aimed at advancing toward Amerli.

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