US journalist released from Syria 'overwhelmed with emotion'

A US journalist released earlier this week after almost two years of imprisonment in Syria said he was "overwhelmed with emotion" because of the attention he has received upon returning home.

Peter Theo Curtis, 45, was captured in 2012 by Nusra Front and was only released on Sunday.

He said: "I suddenly remember how good the American people are, and what kindness they have in their hearts."

Meanwhile, Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, who is suspected of fighting with Islamic State militants operating in Iraq and Syria, has been killed in the Middle East, a US security official has said.

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Minister condemns brutality of Iraqi militants

The minister for the Middle East has condemned the Islamic State group's "brutality, intolerance and victimisation" following the attacks in north-west Iraq.

Islamic State militants man a checkpoint in Nineveh province in Iraq today. Credit: Reuters

Tobias Ellwood said: "It is appalling that Isil [as the Islamic State was formerly known] is preventing displaced and vulnerable people around Sinjar from reaching a place of safety where they can be provided with food, water and life-saving assistance."

The minister added that UN agencies were standing by ready to help, but Isil was preventing that aid getting through.

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