Displaced Shiite Turkmen from Tal Afar, gather at a camp in the town of Sinjar, north of Baghdad on July 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ABDEL HAMID ZIBARI
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Tens of thousands of people fleeing militants have sought refuge in the small northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, cramming into schools and mosques.Huge numbers fled an onslaught on the predominantly-Shiite Turkmen town of Tal Afar last month, part of an ISIS-led offensive that saw swathes of territory across five provinces fall out of government hands.A camp would create its own problems, as the area lies several hours from the nearest government-held city, and just a short distance from territory controlled by ISIS.Sinjar is controlled by peshmerga forces from Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdistan region, and protecting both the town and the camp from insurgents would stretch them. June 23, however, the town fell out of government hands.Those who fled to Sinjar have even sought safety in the shrine to Sayyida Zainab, the daughter of Imam Ali and a revered figure in Shiite Islam.
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