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Iraq army storm the southern edge of Falluja

The Iraqi army has launch a massive assault on the city of Falluja Credit: AP / Khalid Mohammed

The Iraqi army has stormed the southern edge of Falluja under US air support, and captured a police station inside the city limits.

An elite military unit, the Rapid Response Team, is leading what is shaping up to be the biggest assault ever fought against the so-called Islamic State.

Explosions and gun fire was reportedly seen in Naimiya, a district of Falluja on its southern outskirts.

A convoy of armed vehicles is seen driving into Falluja Credit: AP

Separately, Kurdish security forces announced advances against IS in northern Iraq, capturing villages from militants outside Mosul, the biggest city under militant control.

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Four suspected Islamic State members arrested in Denmark

Police said weapons were found in searches following the arrests Credit: Reuters

Four suspected Islamic State (IS) members have been arrested in Denmark, police have announced.

Ammunition and weapons were found in a connected search after the arrests near the capital Copenhagen, the police later tweeted.

It said those held were suspected of plotting to commit violence after recruitment by the Syrian branch of the terrorist group.

"The arrests took place as part of efforts to combat people enlisting in terrorist groups in the war-torn areas in Syria and northern Iraq," the police said in a statement on Thursday.

They declined to confirm the identities of the four suspects, who will appear before a judge on Friday, or the details of the allegations against them.

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Hammond: Jihadi sanctions send 'important message'

The Foreign Secretary has defended the government's decision to add four Britons to a UN sanctions list that targets al-Qaeda and Islamic State operatives.

Speaking to ITV News, Philip Hammond said that the sanctions "sent an important message" to other potential home-grown terrorists and demonstrated that the UK had a sanctions regime.

"It will prevent others from travelling around the world," he said.

The four Britons - Omar Hussain from High Wycombe, Nasser Muthana from Cardiff, Aqsa Mahmood from Glasgow and Sally-Anne Jones from Chatham - are suspected of leading recruitment drives and plotting terror attacks against the UK and elsewhere from strongholds in Syria. They will be subject to a global asset freeze and travel ban.

Obama and Putin to hold talks over fight against IS in Syria

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin will meet at the UN on Monday. Credit: PA

Barack Obama is to meet Vladimir Putin to discuss Russia's plans to counter Islamic State militants in Syria.

The American and Russian presidents will meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday.

White House officials said Mr Obama hoped to learn more about Russian plans to tackle IS by increasing its military presence in Syria.

"There's a lot of talk and now it's time for clarity and for Russia to come clean and come clear on just exactly how it proposes to be a constructive contributor to what is already an ongoing multi-nation coalition," said Celeste Wallander, the White House National Security Council's senior director for Russia.

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