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Iraqis in minority Shiite town besieged by Sunni militants appeal to army for help

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BAGHDAD — An Iraqi lawmaker says residents of a minority Shiite town besieged by Sunni militants are appealing to the military to help end the siege.

Lawmaker Fawzi Akram al-Tarzi said on Wednesday that nearly 15,000 Shiite Turkmens in the town of Amirli have been besieged for the past two months by militants affiliated with the al-Qaida-breakaway Islamic State group.

PHOTO: An Iraq Shiite fighter runs during clashes with militants from the extremist Islamic State group in Jurf al-Sakhar, 43 miles (70 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Aug 18, 2014. Fighters of the voluntary armed group formed after the radical Shiite cleric Muqtatda al-Sadr called to protect holy shrines against possible attacks by Sunni militants. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
An Iraq Shiite fighter runs during clashes with militants from the extremist Islamic State group in Jurf al-Sakhar, 43 miles (70 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Aug 18, 2014. Fighters of the voluntary armed group formed after the radical Shiite cleric Muqtatda al-Sadr called to protect holy shrines against possible attacks by Sunni militants. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Al-Tarzi says the army has airdropped some weapons and supplies to the townspeople who are putting up a fierce resistance. Amirli is about 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Baghdad.

The Islamic State has been on a rampage this summer, after seizing large swaths of western and northern Iraq.

Resident Jaafar Kadhim al-Bayati said over the phone that children in Amirli are getting sick and that the town needs more help.

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