Thousands of Iraqis, predominantly from the minority Yazidi ethnic group, have fled to the Turkish border to escape an advance by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq, local officials said on Thursday.

Around 150 Yazidis were placed in state residences in Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak province and around the nearby city of Batman after crossing the Habur border gate late on Wednesday, the officials said.

“Those who have passports crossed the border, but thousands of people who don’t are waiting at the other side,” said Seyfettin Aydemir, the mayor of Sirnak’s Silopi district.

“We’re in talks with regional lawmakers about the situation,” he said.

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