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Iraqi forces break jihadist siege of Amerli: officials
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters celebrate sitting on the back of a truck as they head to the Mosul dam on the Tigris river that they recaptured from Islamic State jihadists on August 17, 2014 near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Baghdad - Iraqi forces Sunday broke through to the jihadist-besieged town of Amerli, where thousands of people have been trapped for more than two months with dwindling food and water, officials said. "Our forces entered Amerli and broke the siege," security spokesman Lieutenant General Qassem Atta told AFP. Talib al-Bayati, an official responsible for a nearby area, also said that the siege of the Turkmen Shiite-majority town has been broken, as did Nihad al-Bayati, who had been fighting to defend the town against the jihadists. Iraqi security forces, Shiite militiamen and Kurdish peshmerga fighters all took part in the operation, the biggest military success for Baghdad since a lightning jihadist-led offensive overran large parts of the country in June, sweeping security forces aside. Iraqi forces later managed to stem the militant onslaught, but had since struggled to regain ground. Residents of Amerli faced major shortages of food and water, and were in danger both because of their Shiite faith, which jihadists consider heresy, and their resistance to the militants, which has drawn harsh retribution elsewhere.

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