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Iraqi forces reach jihadist-besieged town of Amerli

Iraqi forces have broken through the Islamic State-besieged town of Amerli where thousands of people were trapped for over two months, according to news agency AFP.

Security spokesman Lieutenant General Qassem Atta told AFP: "Our forces entered Amerli and broke the siege".

RAF transport planes took part in a humanitarian air drop to the town last night, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said.

US aircraft also launched airstrikes against IS fighters near the besieged town.

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Islamic State 'demanded ransom' before Foley murder

Islamic State militants pressed for a ransom before killing journalist James Foley and are threatening to kill three other US hostages if their demands are not met, an American newspaper claims.

Barack Obama said the Credit: Reuters

The New York Times, citing a representative of Foley's family and a former fellow hostage, reports that the US refused demands to pay a "multimillion-dollar ransom" for his release.

The newspaper claims that IS is also threatening to kill at least three other Americans if it does not receive ransom payments.

The report follows interviews with "recently released prisoners, family members of the victims and mediators attempting to win their freedom".

Many European nations have previously agreed to pay ransoms for hostages held by terror organisations, though Britain and the United States have continually said they will not.

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