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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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Mother of US hostage urges IS leader to release her son

The mother of a US hostage being held by Islamic State militants has urged their leader Abu Bakral-Baghdadi to use his "authority" and free her 31-year-old son.

According to the New York Times, Shirley Sotloff addresses Mr. Baghdadi as caliph and calls on him to exercise his right to show clemency, as other previous caliphs have, stretching back to the immediate successors of the Prophet Muhammad.

In an emotional video she says:

As a mother, I ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the Prophet Muhammad, who protected the People of the Book.

– Shirley Sotloff, mother of US journalist held by IS militants

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