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France sending 20 tons of medicine, tents, water treatment gear to northern Iraq Wednesday

France says it will deliver a second shipment of humanitarian aid to northern Iraq in a bid to help religious minorities persecuted by advancing radicals of the Islamic State organization.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that the airlift of 20 tons of medicine, tents and water treatment material will arrive in the Iraqi Kurdish capital, Irbil, Wednesday.

The shipment is enough to provide assistance to 50,000 people, it said, and it pledged further operations in the coming days "to aid populations in serious danger."

On Sunday Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius traveled to Irbil to deliver an initial shipment of aid. France has taken a strong stance on the need to protect Christians and other minorities being persecuted by the Islamic State group in northern Iraq.