File - In this Monday, Aug 18, 2014 photo, Iraqi Shiite fighters make their way to the front line to fight militants from the extremist Islamic State group in Jurf al-Sakhar, 43 miles (70 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi MIzban)
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Now Iraq's Shiite religious establishment is urging the faithful to donate food, money and supplies.Shortly after the June blitz across northern Iraq, tens of thousands of Shiite men answered a nationwide call-to-arms by the top Shiite religious figure, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.The Shiite fighters are credited with helping to stall the militants' advance outside Baghdad, breaking the siege of the northern Shiite-majority town of Amirli in August, and later driving the militants out of Jurf al-Sakhr south of the capital.In the upscale Baghdad neighborhood of Harthiya, a representative from Sistani's office recently urged his followers to donate food and money to the Shiite militias, warning that many fighters had already deserted.In the Baghdad Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, desperately needed ammunition is being purchased through donations by wealthy Shiites.
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