People chant anti-terrorism slogans during gathering to protest the Islamic State group's blockade on Amirli at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)
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As Islamist militants rampaged across northern Iraq in June, seizing vast swaths of territory and driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, the Shiite Turkmens living in the hardscrabble town of Amirli decided to stay and fight.The wheat and barley farmers took up arms, dug trenches and posted gunmen on the rooftops, and against all odds they have kept the extremist group ISIS out of the town of 15,000 people. But residents say they are running low on food and water despite Iraqi army airlifts, and after more than six weeks under siege they don't know how much longer they can hold out.In 2007 a truck carrying 4.5 tons of explosives detonated in the town center, leveling dozens of mud brick homes and killing at least 150 people, making it one of the deadliest single bombings in Iraq.Iraqi troops are trying to relieve the town by breaking the blockade with an incursion from the west.
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