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Survivors of Iraq jihadist siege stream into camps

Published on Aug 14, 2014 1:11 AM

DOHUK, Iraq (AFP) - Thousands of civilians who escaped a jihadist siege streamed into Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq Wednesday, as the West ramped up efforts to assist those still trapped and arm Kurdish forces battling to break the siege.

The United States has carried out air strikes against jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) group in Mount Sinjar, a border area of Iraq where the UN refugee agency says 20,000-30,000 civilians, many of them members of the Yazidi minority, remain besieged.

Thousands poured across the border bridge into camps in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on Wednesday after trekking through neighbouring Syria to find refuge, most with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.

Some women carried exhausted children, weeping as they reached the relative safety of Iraqi Kurdistan after fleeing the jihadist offensive which drove Kurdish forces from their home villages.

Displaced Iraqi Yazidis, who fled a jihadist onslaught on the border area of Sinjar, gather to collect bottles of water at Bajid Kandala camp in Kurdistan's western Dohuk province, on August 13, 2014. Thousands of civilians poured into camps in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on Wednesday.  -- PHOTO: AFP
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