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Petrol price fall 'one of biggest in 25 years'

Petrol pump prices have experienced the third biggest fall in 25 years, new AA figures suggest.

The AA said the drop would help consumers spend more on other goods. Credit: PA Wire

The AA said that between mid-November and mid-December UK average petrol prices fell 6.6p to 116.32p a litre.

The drop does not include the latest 2p-a-litre reduction by the four biggest supermarkets, which took effect on Wednesday.

Only the October-November 2008 fall of 11.5p a litre and the August-September 2006 dip of 7.9p have been greater than the most recent decline.

Average diesel prices have also fallen 5.27p a litre to 122.16p over the mid-November to mid-December 2014 period, the AA said.

But experts have warned that the rapidly falling prices "carry a warning from the ghost of Christmas past" due to the parallels with the 2008 oil price crash.

Pakistani army kill 67 militants near Afghan border

Pakistani jets and ground forces killed 67 militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said, days after the Taliban killed 148 people - mostly children - in a school massacre.

The Pakistani army, pictured going into the school on December 17. Credit: Reuters

The mass attack on children has stunned the country and brought cries for retribution.

In the past few days the military have struck a number of targets in the Khyber region, and approved the death penalty for six convicted terrorists.

Khyber borders Peshawar, where the massacre took place, and militants traditionally attacked the city before fleeing into the tribal area where they cannot be chased.

The government is appearing to demonstrate its commitment to fighting terrorism, but this was somewhat undermined by the decision to grant bail to the main suspect in the Mumbai terror attacks, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi. The government said it is trying to cancel the bail.

Indian protests commemorate Pakistani terror victims

Students sit with placards for the victims of the Taliban attack in Karachi. Credit: Reuters

A number of protests and ceremonies for have been taking place across India in memory of the victims of a Taliban gun attack on school in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Women attend a candlelight prayer ceremony for the victims in an elderly home in Ahmedebad. Credit: Reuters

Labour welcomes move to let women fight on front line

Labour has welcomed the Government's recommendation to end a ban on allowing women to fight on the front line, pending further research.

The party's shadow armed forces minister Kevan Jones pointed out that many of the British Army's front line medics, engineers, intelligence officers, fighter pilots and submariners are women.

We should be proud of the role played by women in our armed forces.

Many of them already serve on the front line as medics, engineers, intelligence officers, fighter pilots and submariners.

Labour had called for the ban on women serving in combat roles to be examined with a view to it being ended, and any moves towards that are welcome.

– Labour MP Kevan Jones


Iraqi Kurdish fighters free 'vast area' of Mount Sinjar

Members of the Kurdish security forces take part in a patrol in Zumar, Nineveh province. Credit: Reuters

Kurdish peshmerga fighters have fought their way to Iraq's Sinjar mountain and freed hundreds of people trapped there by the Islamic State fighters, a Kurdish leader said late last night.

100 Islamic State fighters were killed in the assault, which was backed by US airstrikes.

The peshmerga have managed to reach the mountain. A vast area has been liberated. Now a corridor is open and hopefully the rest of the (Sinjar) region will be freed from Islamic State.

– Masrour Barzani

The Yazidi people have not been evacuated and the the toil on the civilian population is unclear. The words 'Property of the Islamic State' were sprayed on villages.

The Kurds have yet to take the actual town of Sinjar.

Alice Gross suspect's inquest adjourned

The inquest into the death of a suspect in the murder of schoolgirl Alice Gross has been adjourned, Scotland Yard said.

An inquest into the death of convicted killer Arnis Zalkans - whose body was found in Boston Monor Park, west London on October 4 - was due to resume today.

Arnis Zalkalns, the prime suspect in the murder of schoolgirl Alice Gross, who was discovered hanged in dense woodland in October. Credit: Metropolitan Police

But police said it had been adjourned until the conclusion of the 14-year-old's inquest.

The Latvian national's body was discovered just four days after Alice's body was discovered in the Grand Union Canal.

The teenager went missing from her home in Hanwell, west London on August 28, sparking a huge search operation.

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