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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 emotional 'final letter' published by family

A final message from murdered James Foley to his family and friends has been released, after a fellow hostage committed it to memory and recited it.

James Foley was captured in 2012. Credit: Reuters

The "letter", posted on a Facebook page dedicated to the late journalist, tells of Foley's experience with seventeen others in one cell, noting how his fellow captives proved a "huge help".

I have had weak and strong days. We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom. We try to encourage each other and share strength. We are being fed better now and daily. We have tea, occasional coffee. I have regained most of my weight lost last year.

– James Foley's letter

The note then addresses individuals with often emotional messages, with Foley urging one loved one to "stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life".

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