Iraq's military evacuate sick, children from besieged Shi'ite town of Amerli
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 00:40
A video released by Iraq's Defence Ministry shows children, women and elderly in the town of Amerli being evacuated by military helicopter. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Iraq's Defence Ministry released a video on Monday (August 25) showing military helicopter evacuating group of children, women and elderly from the northern town of Amerli which has been besieged by the radical Sunni militants since June.
A home to around 180,000 people, mostly Turkmen Shi'ites, the small town of Amerli some 160 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad is still holding out against repeated attacks by Islamic State fighters despite the fall of all the 34 villages surrounding it.
The evacuated people were flown to a hospital in Baghdad for medical treatment and check-up.
Iraq's most influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has expressed concern over the plight of the people of Amerli who are surviving in desperate conditions in the searing summer heat without electricity or drinking water, and dwindling supplies of food and medicine.
Unlike the Yazidis trapped on the Sinjar Mountain who have received air drops by the United States, no aid was provided to the Shi'ite population of the town.
The United Nations has warned recently of possible "massacre" in Amerli if no immediate action is taken to rescue besieged people.
Amerli is Iraq's third largest ethnic group after Arabs and Kurds, they include both Sunnis and Shi'ites and have a history of being targeted in previous conflicts.
Over the past two months, thousands of them have travelled hundreds of kilometres to the capital to escape the Islamic State insurgents, crowding into schools run by volunteers and religious charities in the absence of government help.
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