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Syria war: ISIL flees Manbij with 'human shields'

Civilians fred from ISILSyrian rebel fighters have accused the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group of taking more than 2,000 people hostage, and using them as human shields, as they retreated from the northern city of Manbij.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed alliance consisting of Kurdish and Arab fighters, said on Friday they were in control of most of the city, held by ISIL, also known as ISIS, since 2014.


Afghan-Pakistan ISIL's Hafiz Saeed Khan killed

ISIL leader killedThe leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Afghanistan and Pakistan was killed in a US drone strike on July 26, US and Afghan officials have confirmed.

Hafiz Saeed Khan, ISIL's Khorasan Province leader, was killed in Kot district of Afghanistan's Nangharhar province, according to Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, the top Afghan diplomat in Pakistan.


Russia's Vladimir Putin dismisses Sergei Ivanov

Putin dismisses IvanovRussian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed his close ally and powerful chief of staff Sergei Ivanov, according to a Kremlin statement.  The move represents the highest-level demotion inside the Kremlin in several years.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has decreed to relieve Ivanov of his duties as head of the Russian presidential administration," Friday's statement said.


Thailand shaken by multiple bomb blasts

Thailand explosionsThailand has tightened security after bomb attacks across the country killed four people and wounded many more, with authorities struggling to identify a motive and find the perpetrators.

Twin bombs exploded in the upmarket resort of Hua Hin late on Thursday, killing one woman and wounding more than 20 others. They were followed by two more on Friday morning that killed another person.


Julian Assange to be questioned in Ecuadorian Embassy

Julian AssangeWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to be questioned by Swedish prosecutors inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, potentially breaking a stalemate in an almost five-year-long investigation into alleged sex crimes.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange over allegations of rape stemming from a work visit he made to the country in 2010 when WikiLeaks was attracting international attention for a trove of documents leaked by US Army Private Chelsea Manning, then known as Bradley.



U.S. State Dept. approves $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia

Arms sale to Saudi ArabiaThe U.S. State Department has approved a proposed $1.15 billion foreign military sale of tanks and other equipment to Saudi Arabia, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Tuesday.

The deal includes M1A2S Saudi Abrams Main Battle tanks and M88AI/A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System, or HERCULES, armored recovery vehicles, the agency said in a statement.

Congress was informed of the possible sale on Monday.


Rio Olympics roundup: Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky win gold; U.S. Gymnastics dominates

Rio roundup: US leadingOn a day when the United States Women's National Team disappointed on the soccer field and Serena Williams was eliminated from Olympic competition, events were anything but predictable.

That was until Simone Biles and the 'Final Five' took to mats and Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps entered the pool in Rio de Janeiro.


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