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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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Foley's parents 'underestimated how brutal they were'

The mother of James Foley, the US journalist executed by Islamist militants, told NBC's Today show that they had previously attempted to negotiate with the extremists holding their son hostage.

"The last time we heard from them was in December, actually. In December we had received several emails but then they stopped communicating," Diane Foley said.

"And so we were just anxiously waiting. We had established a special email and sent multiple messages hoping to engage them."

James' father, John, said he had been "excited" to see the most recent Islamic State email "despite the conclusion that they would execute Jim" and that he "did not realise how brutal they were."

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