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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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Islamic State 'executed 500' in northern Iraq

Iraq's government has "striking evidence" that Islamic State militants have executed at least 500 members of the minority Yazidi community, the country's human rights minister said.

There is 'striking evidence' that Islamist fighters have executed 500 people in Iraq. Credit: Reuters

Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said: "We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic States have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar."

Sinjar, the ancient home of the Yazidis was overrun by fighters from the Islamic State, previously known as Isis, last week.

Al-Sudani added: "Some of the victims, including women and children were buried alive in scattered mass graves."

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