8/23/14, "Iraq conflict: UN warns of possible Amerli 'massacre'," BBC
"The UN has called for action to prevent what it says may be a possible massacre in the northern Iraqi town of Amerli.
The town, which has been besieged by Islamic State for two months, has no electricity or drinking water, and is running out food and medical supplies.
The majority of its residents are Turkmen Shia, seen as apostates by IS.
"The situation of the people in Amerli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens," Mr Mladenov said in a statement.
"I urge the Iraqi government to do all it can to relieve the siege and to ensure that the residents receive life-saving humanitarian assistance or are evacuated in a dignified manner."
On Friday, the most influential Shia cleric in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, expressed concern over the plight of the town's inhabitants.
Residents say they have had to organise their own resistance to the militants and no foreign aid has reached the town since the siege began."
"Who are Islamic State (IS)?
- Formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2013, IS first captured Raqqa in eastern Syria
- By early 2014, it controlled Falluja in western Iraq
- Has since captured broad swathes of Iraq, seizing the northern city of Mosul in June
- Fighting has displaced at least 1.2 million Iraqis
- Pursuing an extreme form of Sunni Islam, IS has persecuted non-Muslims such as Yazidis and Christians, as well as Shia Muslims, whom it regards as heretics
- In July alone, IS expanded dramatically, recruiting some 6,300 new fighters largely in Raqqa, an activist monitoring group said."
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