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Shi'ite militia kill 68 at Sunni mosque in eastern Iraq

At least 68 people have died after Shi'ite militia forces opened fire on a Sunni mosque in the country's eastern Diyala province, a morgue official told Reuters.

The mass killing marks a setback for Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, from the majority Shi'ite community, who is seeking support from Sunnis and ethnic Kurds to take on the Islamic State insurgency that is threatening to tear Iraq apart.


US expects Islamic State fighters to stage new offences

The United States expects more attacks from Islamic State militants, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has said.

"We should expect Isil to re-group and stage new offences, and US involvement is not over, President Obama has been very clear on this point," Hagel said.

The US will continue to support Iraqi forces in their fight against the militants, he added.

US continues air strikes on Islamic State fighters in Iraq

The US military has launched six air strikes against Islamic State fighters today in the vicinity of Iraq's Mosul Dam, US Central Command has said.

"The strikes destroyed or damaged three Isil Humvees, one Isil vehicle, and multiple IED [improvised explosive devices] emplacements," it said in a statement.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters stand guard at Mosul Dam after taking it from Islamic State militants.
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters stand guard at Mosul Dam after taking it from Islamic State militants. Credit: REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

"All aircraft exited the strike area safely."

The US has conducted a total of 90 air strikes on Islamic State targets across Iraq since August 8.

British citizen 'mistaken as thief' shot dead in Iraq

A British citizen has been shot dead in Irbil, northern Iraq, after being mistaken for a thief, police in the region have said.

Officials said the victim was a 38-year-old man employed as a supervisor by Falcon Group security firm.

According to local news organisation Rudaw the victim was drunk at the time and was shot by his neighbour in the city's English Village.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: "We were informed of the death of a British national in Erbil on 21 August. We stand ready to provide consular assistance at this difficult time."


Fresh UK aid flights depart for northern Iraq

More UK aid flights have departed for Iraq today, delivering tents, food and vehicles for humanitarian workers across the north of the country.

UK aid is prepared in Kemble, southern England.
UK aid is prepared in Kemble, southern England. Credit: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Taking off from Dubai today, the flights will deliver the supplies to refugees across the Dohuk region, who have been chased out of their homes after threats and attacks from Islamist extremists.

The first UK aid flight was on August 16, and delivered almost 8,000 kitchen sets allowing people to cook for themselves.

The contents of the latest delivery, bringing to six the total number of flights to date, are aimed at providing shelter for 2,575 people, as well as body armour for aid workers.

UNHCR: Iraqi refugees at camp have 'very urgent needs'

The Badhet Kandela camp was being expanded at the weekend to meet the needs of a growing influx of displaced Iraqis. The former transit camp or Syrian refugees, situated near Iraqi Kurdistan's border with Syria, is now home to more than 11,000 Iraqis, according to the UN.

UNHCR field officer Bahzad Amin spoke of the "very urgent need" of the families who had recently arrived, saying: "We are trying to manage better for the basic facilities, water delivery, latrines installation and so on."

Government outlines recent UK aid in northern Iraq

Justine Greening announced £8 million in new assistance for those displaced in Iraq on 8 August.
Justine Greening announced £8 million in new assistance for those displaced in Iraq on 8 August. Credit: DFID

The UK has so far committed £13 million in new assistance in response to the crisis in Iraq. Here is what has been provided for 200,000 displaced Iraqis:

  • £5 million aid for Iraq was announced in June while another £8 million package was announced on August 8.
  • Two DFID-chartered Airbus cargo flights landed in Erbil on the night of August 19 carrying 45 tonnes of high nutrition emergency food from the World Food Programme (WFP) and 515 family-sized tents.
  • 8,000 kitchen sets which include cutlery, cooking pots, plates, frying pans, cups and wooden spoons to Erbil were delivered on August 16.
  • The RAF has also made seven successful air drops of UK aid over Mount Sinjar including w9,420 water purification containers, 1,056 solar lanterns, and 1,008 shelter kits.

Up to 300 more US soldiers 'needed for security' in Iraq

Up to 300 extra US soldiers have been requested to provide security in Iraq, according to Reuters.

An unnamed US official told the agency that the request, by the State Department, had not yet been approved.

More than 800 American soldiers have already been sent to Iraq since Islamic State militants invaded the north of the country in June.

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