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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Yazidis speak of horrors witnessed in mountains

Members of the Iraq's minority Yazidi sect have been describing the horrors they have witnessed while seeking shelter from IS militants on Mount Sinjar.

Displaced Yazidis walk towards the Syrian border from Mount Sinjar Credit: REUTERS/Rodi Said

"When we went up the mountain, snipers were firing at us. The girls were throwing themselves off the top of the mountain," school worker Khalaf Hajji told a Reuters journalist.

Yazidis fleeing to the Syrian border speak to a member of the Kurdish People's Protection Units Credit: REUTERS/Rodi Said

Dakheel, a shepherd, said he left his 95-year-old mother when he set off on a gruelling walk to safety. "I left my mother behind on the mountain in a cave. She said 'I want to stay here: go, save yourselves,'" he said.

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