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Kurds unite to oust Iraq jihadists, rescue stranded civilians

Iraqi Yazidi children who fled the violence in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar with their family, stand at a school where they are taking shelter in the Kurdish city of Dohuk in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, on August 5, 2014Kurds from Iraq, Syria and Turkey joined forces in north Iraq Wednesday to try to reclaim areas lost to jihadists and rescue thousands of civilians stranded in mountains without food or water. The fate of the civilians, many of them from the Yazidi minority who fled to the Sinjar mountains after an attack by the Islamic State (IS) group at the weekend, has sparked international concern. In raids west and north of their main Iraqi hub of Mosul in recent days, IS fighters took over the towns of Sinjar and Zumar, further secured the border with Syria by seizing Rabia, and bagged several oilfields in the process. As part of the fightback, an Iraqi government airstrike smashed a hole in a Mosul building the jihadists had been using as a sharia (Islamic law) court, military spokesman Qassem Atta said.

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