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Iraq hangs 42 prisoners on death row: ministry

Iraq has hanged 42 prisoners condemned to death for crimes including kidnapping, killing members of the security forces, car bombings and other attacks, a justice ministry statement said on Monday. It said Sunday’s executions were carried out in Nasiriyah prison in the south and that those put to death were convicted under Iraq’s counter-terrorism law….

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N. Korea, Venezuela, Chad among 8 countries on new US travel ban

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump issued a new open-ended travel ban Sunday that saw North Korea, Venezuela and Chad among a list of eight countries cited for poor security and lack of cooperation with US authorities. The new restrictions replace an expiring 90-day measure that had locked Trump in political and legal battles since he took…

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Islamic State chief Baghdadi likely still alive: US general

WASHINGTON: Elusive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is probably still alive and likely hiding in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, a senior US general said Thursday.

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Iraq starts offensive to take back Tal Afar from Islamic State

ERBIL: Iraqi security forces launched on Sunday an offensive to take back the city of Tal Afar, their next objective in the campaign to defeat Islamic State militants, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, reported Reuters. “You either surrender, or die,” Abadi said in a televised speech announcing the offensive, addressing the militants. A longtime stronghold…

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IS claims its ‘soldiers’ carried out Barcelona attack

BEIRUT: “Soldiers” of the Islamic State group carried out a deadly van attack in Barcelona on Thursday, the jihadist organisation’s propaganda outlet Amaq said.

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Islamic State threat remains despite military blows: UN report

UNITED NATIONS: The Islamic State group continues to “motivate and enable” global attacks and funnel funds to supporters despite military blows to its so-called Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, according to a UN report Thursday. The 24-page text, prepared by a panel of experts for the Security Council, noted that remittances sent abroad — often…

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Suicide bombings near Iraqi embassy in Kabul: officials

KABUL: A suicide bomber attacked a police compound and the nearby Iraqi embassy in Kabul on Monday, security officials in the Afghan capital said. A police spokesperson said security forces were at the scene and a gunbattle was under way, reported Reuters. This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.

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Iran to build Iraq’s first foreign university of medical sciences

TEHRAN: Iran is planning to build Iraq’s first ever foreign University of Medical Sciences, Iranian deputy minister of health Bagher Larijani said Thursday. At the Thursday meeting of the Iranian Deputy Health Minister Dr. Bagher Larijani and a team of Iraqi medical officials in Tehran, the two sides reached initial agreements on cooperation on a…

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Iran, Iraq sign MoU on defense cooperation

TEHRAN: A memorandum of understanding on defense-military cooperation has been signed between Iran and Iraq on Sunday in Tehran. The MoU was signed by Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan and his Iraqi counterpart Irfan al-Hayali who headed a delegation to Tehran aimed at expansion of defense and military cooperation. The memorandum includes expansion…

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Indians, Chinese among top asylum seekers, says recent study on migration

CHENNAI: Indian diaspora grows steady and strong with India topping the list among countries whose citizens acquire foreign nationality, said a recent global study on migration, reported Times of India. Unknown to many, a tiny bit of this migration is driven by asylum-seekers from home who count among the biggest groups seeking refuge from ‘persecution’…

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Iraqi PM hails victory over ‘brutality and terrorism’ in Mosul

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared a victory over “brutality and terrorism” in Mosul on Monday after his forces ended the Islamic State group’s rule over the country’s second city. Flanked by soldiers, Abadi hailed the retaking of Mosul — from where IS declared its self-styled “caliphate” three years ago — as a historic moment…

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Iraqi forces push to clear last pockets of IS in Mosul

Iraqi forces fought to eliminate the last pockets of Islamic State group resistance in Mosul on Monday after the premier visited the devastated city to congratulate troops on securing victory. With the jihadists surrounded in a sliver of territory in Mosul’s Old City, attention was turning to the huge task of rebuilding the city and…

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Chilling footage of ISIS woman detonating herself and baby emerges

NEWS DESK: Chilling footage has emerged of an ISIS suicide bomber cradling a baby in her arms seconds before she blows herself and the child up, reported The Independent. Initially, it appeared the woman was fleeing the Iraqi city of Mosul, which has now fallen from ISIS control, with her child. But the video shows…

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Civilians trapped as Iraq forces battle Islamic State in Mosul

MOSUL: Iraqi forces on Thursday battled the last remaining Islamic State group fighters in Mosul’s Old City, where the UN said up to 20,000 civilians are trapped and in “extreme danger”. In neighbouring Syria, US-backed forces are facing fierce resistance from IS as they wage a parallel offensive to recapture the city of Raqa from…

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ISIS has left an entire generation of children suffering from ‘waking nightmares’, says report

Visiting a classroom or playground in the sprawling camps now home to Iraqis who have fled Isis, it can take a while to realise what’s missing at first. There are colourful posters and drawings on the walls, toys to play with, music and games. But the sound of kids laughing, annoying each other and joining…

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Islamic State cornered in Mosul as Iraq prepares victory celebrations

MOSUL: Islamic State fighters were battling to hold on to the last few streets under their control in the Old City of Mosul on Monday, in what looked like a hopeless last stand in their former stronghold. In fierce fighting, Iraqi army units forced the insurgents back, cornering them in a shrinking rectangle no more…

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US-backed force cuts off last IS escape route from Raqa: monitor

BEIRUT: The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on Thursday sealed off the last route used by the Islamic State group to flee an offensive on its Syrian bastion Raqa, a monitor said. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, SDF fighters captured the villages of Kasrat Afnan and Kasab on the southern bank of the…

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Iraq declares end of caliphate after capturing historic Mosul mosque

MOSUL: Iraqi government troops on Thursday captured the mosque in Mosul from where Islamic State proclaimed its self-styled caliphate three years ago, the Iraqi military said. Seizing the 850 year-old Grand al-Nuri Mosque hands a symbolic victory to the Iraqi forces who have been battling for more than eight month to recapture Mosul, the northern…

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Video: Female sniper laughs after almost getting her head blown off

RAQQA: A female Kurdish sniper’s brush with death is going viral over the internet as the woman can be seen laughing and chatting away after a bullet misses her head narrowly.  This video is from the city of Raqqa, where the YPJ and Iraqi forces backed by the United States, are embroiled in conflict with…

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US-led coalition downs Iran-made drone in Syria

A US warplane shot down an Iranian-made drone operated by pro-regime forces in southern Syria early Tuesday, officials said, in the latest incident in rising tensions between the two sides. It comes days after a US warplane shot down a Syrian government fighter jet in the north of the country, prompting a furious reaction from…

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Afghan commando kills two US soldiers: official

NANGARHAR: An Afghan commando Saturday killed two American soldiers and wounded two others during a joint operation in eastern Nangarhar province, a stronghold of Islamic State militants, an official said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the insider attack in the volatile district of Achin, saying it was carried out by an infiltrator. “Today around noon…

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