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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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Kerry: Rise of Isis is threat to Middle East and the West

US secretary of state John Kerry said American support for Iraqi security forces will be "intense and sustained" to help them combat the Islamist insurgency that has swept through the country's north and west.

Isis, he said, was "fighting to divide Iraq and to destroy Iraq - so this is a critical moment for Iraq's future."

Speaking in Baghdad, he said Iraq's leaders must meet the "existential threat" by immediately taking a stand united against the Islamist group and quickly forming a new, " genuinely inclusive government."

He added that rise of Isis "threatens the stability of the entire region and it is a threat also to the United States and to the West."

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