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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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Pope Francis: Violence in Iraq 'deeply offends God'

Pope Francis said that the violence in Iraq "deeply offends God and deeply offends humanity" in his weekly address in Rome.

Pope Francis said the violence in Iraq Credit: Reuters

The Argentine born Pontiff said: "We are left incredulous and dismayed by the news coming from Iraq."

He added: "Thousands of people, among them many Christians, banished brutally from their houses, children dying of hunger and thirst as they flee, women kidnapped, people massacred, violence of all kinds, destruction everywhere ... All of this deeply offends God and deeply offends humanity."

Pope the interrupted his prepared speech to ask for a moment of silence, which was observed by the crowd

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