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France to step up military battle against IS in Iraq

President Francois Hollande made the announcement on Friday. Credit: Reuters

France is to ramp up its military efforts against so-called Islamic State in Iraq following the Bastille Day lorry attack in Nice.

President Francois Hollande announced that France would supply heavy weapons to Iraqi forces as early as next month.

But President Hollande said there are no plans to deploy troops on the ground there or in Syria.

Eighty four people died after Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a lorry into crowds on the Promenade des Anglais on July 14.

Five alleged accomplices have been charged with terror offences.

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Davis: Chilcot report was 'trial' but 'verdict' still needed

David Davis on The Andrew Marr Show. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

The Chilcot report was "a trial" but there has been no "verdict" on the Iraq War, David Davis has said.

The Conservative MP said that Tony Blair mislead the House of Commons on five different occasions, and that he will put down a Contempt Motion in the House on Thursday in an attempt to get that "verdict".

Misleading the House on one occasion could have been an accident, but not five times, the former Conservative leadership party said.

Mr Davis said that while the Chilcot report looked into the causes and consequences of the war, it was not asked to rule on whether it was right or wrong. This was for the House of Commons to decide, Mr Davis said.

Mr Davis' comments come after Lord Prescott, the deputy prime minister at the time of the 2003 invasion said the war was illegal.

Death toll in Baghdad suicide bombings rises to 37

Iraqi officials have confirmed the death toll at a Shi'ite shrine near Baghdad has risen to 37, and said 62 people were injured in the triple explosion.

Police said the attack on the Sayyid Mohammed shrine in Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, began with mortar fire on Thursday evening.

The third bomber was killed before he detonated his explosives.

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Suicide bombers and gunmen kill 26 in Baghdad attack

The attack happened north of Baghdad on Thursday evening. Credit: Google

An attack by 'multiple' suicide bombers and gunmen on a Shiite shrine north of Baghdad has killed 26 and wounded 52 others, Iraqi officials have said.

The attack began late on Thursday night when a suicide bomber targeted policemen guarding the entrance to the Sayyid Mohammed shine in Balad, 50 miles north of the capital Baghdad.

A second bomber entered the shrine with nine gunmen targeting security forces as well as families gathering to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Police officials said a third bomber was killed.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

It comes less than a week after an Islamic State-claimed bombing in Baghdad killed at least 186 people.

Hammond: Removal of Iraqi government officials a mistake

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond gives evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee. Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said that it was a mistake to remove members of Saddam Hussein's government from positions of power following the Iraq War.

Many Ba'athist military officers who were in positions of responsibility under Hussein are now in senior positions within the fighting force of so-called Islamic State, Mr Hammond told the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

Maybe it was too great an ambition to try to simply dismantle a quite sophisticated country with a long-established civilisation, traditions and cultures of its own and recreate a sort of mid-Atlantic construct of what governance should look like, often going against the grain of local culture and local tradition.

– Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

As a result of the aftermath of Iraq, the reconstructing of Syria following its current civil war needed to take place with "an appropriate degree of humility", the MP for Runnymede and Weybridge said.

I think nobody really thinks that in one bound we should turn Syria into a European-style democracy overnight. That's not a realistic or perhaps even a desirable outcome.

– Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

Mr Hammond also resisted pressure to declare that military action in Iraq had been a mistake, instead saying that lessons could be learned.

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