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Islamic State leader calls for jihad in audio message

The leader of the Islamic State, formerly Isis, has released the first audiotape calling for jihad since the group renamed. The group is currently battling Iraqi forces across large parts of the country.

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Iraqi leaders make a joint call for national unity

Iraqi Shi'ite and Sunni political leaders made a joint call for national unity today after a closed-door meeting.

The leaders, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite, and Sunni Usama al-Nujaifi, the last speaker of parliament which dissolved this month, stood apart and listened as Maliki's predecessor Ibrahim al-Jafaari called for "defending the state and protecting its sovereignty and dignity."

They also called for the avoidance of sectarian grievances and forbade non-state actors from carrying weapons.

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