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Fallon praises British armed forces in fight against IS

The Defence Secretary has praised Britain's armed forces for their work in fighting Islamic State (IS) extremists during a visit to Cyprus.

Michael Fallon told the 400 service personnel based at RAF Akrotiri he was "proud" of their role in helping the Iraqi government defend itself against the threat of IS.

"While this fight will take time, the coalition's air strikes are having a direct effect in supporting Iraqi ground operations against IS," Fallon said.

"In the north, areas around Mount Sinjar have been retaken, bringing relief to the local Yazidi population and applying pressure to IS forces in Mosul. In the south, Iraqi forces operations are beginning to push back ISIL."


Police looking for Becky Watts search nearby house

Police looking for missing Bristol teenager Becky Watts have spent the day searching a house around 3.5 miles from her home.

Neighbours said officers earlier removed a car parked outside.

Becky Watts's uncle told ITV News the family remains hopeful, but are now 'running on empty'.

ITV News reporter Duncan Golestani reports:


Islamic State releases 19 Christians taken in Syria

Islamic State abducted 220 Assyrian Christians from villages in north-east Syria. Credit: Reuters/Omar Sanadiki

Islamic State (IS) has released 19 Christians who were among the more than 220 people the militants took captive in north-eastern Syria last week.

Bashir Saedi, a senior official in the Assyrian Democratic Organisation, says the 16 men and three women were freed today and are now at a church in the city of Hassakeh. He said they are all around 50 years of age or older.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group also reported that 19 Christians had been freed.

It was not immediately clear why the Islamic State group released them.

The fate of the remaining Christian captives is unclear.

  1. West Country (E)

Police search Southmead property in hunt for Becky

Police search property in Southmead Credit: ITV News

Police are searching several locations in Bristol including a property in Southmead as they hunt for missing Becky Watts.

Neighbours say the house is occupied by two men, a woman and two young children. Another neighbour has told ITV Westcountry a black car was removed by police from the property.

Police are preparing to use a specialist dog team in another search around the area tomorrow.

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