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Two British men 'killed fighting for Islamic State'

Two British men have reportedly been killed fighting for Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Abu Abdullah al Habashi, 21, and Abu Dharda, 20, both from London, are thought to have died in the Syrian border town of Kobani.

Kurdish fighters have been defending the town from an IS onslaught with the assistance of American air strikes.

Mr al Habashi is believed to have made comments supporting IS on social media and appeared in at least two propaganda videos put out by the extremist group.

He grew up in north London in a British-Eritrean family, and converted to Islam when he was 16, the BBC reported.

Vodafone 'monitoring' 111 and 101 services after fault

Vodafone have said they will continue to monitor 111 and 101 phoneline services after a technical issue caused the non-emergency helplines to stop working this morning.

A spokesman for the phone company said: "We will continue to monitor the services closely and will be carrying out a full investigation into the issue. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”


Mark Reckless: Conservatives cannot win majority

The decision to go into coalition combined, with the Government's policies means the Tories stand no chance of an overall majority at next year's general election, Ukip defector Mark Reckless has said.

Speaking at the eurosceptic Bruges Group this morning, Mr Reckless said he had not thought a Conservative victory was a "serious prospect" since David Cameron went into coalition with Nick Clegg.

Ukip MP Mark Reckless addressing an audience at the Bruges Group.

"That is largely because that decision led to unity on the left and a significant increase in the Labour vote due to departing Lib Dems," he argued.

He also hit out at Mr Cameron's leadership, saying: "How David Cameron and the Conservative-led government have governed over the last four and a half years has also tended, to put it mildly, to reduce the prospects of the Conservative Party being successfully returned at the next election."

However, he said the impact of Ukip's surge on Tory-held seats would be "small if any", whereas Ukip "can actually win seats in Labour areas from people who would never dream of voting Conservative.

Hotel guest describes 'chaos' during gas explosion

Hotel guests have spoken about last night's gas explosion at London's Hyatt Regency Hotel in Portman Square, describing the atmosphere immediately following the blast.

The scene at the Churchill Hyatt Regency hotel in Portman Square, central London Credit: Olivia Rudgard /PA Wire

Raymund Reyes, 40, said it was 'chaos' on the street outside the hotel as some guests waited in the cold for an hour and a half waiting to find out what was happening.

Mr Reyes said at first he thought the explosion was a drill but realised it was more serious when he left his room. He said: "The floor shook and there was a loud explosion simultaneously. The power went out, it was pitch dark. I go into the hallway and it was pitch black - no lights, nothing."

Stewart Dyer, 40, who was staying at the hotel with his wife and nine-month-old daughter, added: "It was scary because we couldn't get the security lock off the door in the dark, and hence we couldn't get the door open. Someone thankfully heard us and gave the door a push and we were able to get out."


Police: National 101 line problem has been resolved

The technical problem that brought down the 101 non-emergency police number has now been resolved, Staffordshire Police have tweeted.

Police Scotland also experiencing 101 difficulties

Scottish police are also experiencing problems with the forces non-emergency 101 number.

Police Scotland's official twitter account posted:

Police: Do not ring 999 unless it is an emergency

The Metropolitan Police have urged the public not to dial 999 while they cannot get through to the 101 non-emergency line.

The Met have posted details of how to contact them on their Twitter feed, as have various other police forces around the country.

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