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Wednesday, Dec 07th

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Peshmerga in heavy gun battles with ISIL near Mosul

Iraqi Kurds fight against ISILIraqi Kurdish fighters are exchanging heavy fire with ISIL fighters as they advance from two directions on a town held by the armed group just 13km east of the city of Mosul.

The town of Bashiqa has been surrounded by Kurdish Peshmerga forces for weeks.

Monday's push appears to be the most serious yet to drive the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) from the area, which is to the northeast of Mosul, the group's last major urban bastion in the country.

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Two U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan

Two US troops killed in AfghanistanTwo U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan on Thursday during a mission to clear Taliban fighters in Kunduz that also appears to have caused civilian casualties.

Four U.S. troops were also reported wounded in the fighting. The casualties underscore the danger U.S. service members still face in Afghanistan, despite the official end of U.S. combat operations.

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US personnel ‘targeting killer drones from Britain’

US Drones targeted from BritainUS military personnel serving at the UK’s RAF bases are helping to identify targets for drone strikes, according to their job specifications.

Human rights groups have seized on the descriptions of the roles as proof of the UK’s part in the covert US drone programme, which some critics claim is in breach of international law.

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Two Americans killed in attack at Kabul army base

2 Americans killed in AfghanistanA gunmen in an Afghan army uniform has opened fire on a group of US soldiers, killing at least two Americans including a civilian in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

The shooting took place at 11am local time (0630GMT) on Wednesday while international troops visited a military base in Kabul, according to Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

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Report finds British troops let Iraqi teenager drown

iraqi teen drowned by UK troopsA judge in the UK has condemned four British troops for the killing of an Iraqi teenager in 2003 in the city of Basra.

The soldiers had displayed "a manifest disregard of life" when they forced 15-year-old Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali into a canal in Basra where he drowned, judge George Newman said on Thursday in his report for the Iraq Fatalities Investigations.

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UNHCR: 3,000 fleeing Iraqis seized by ISIL

Fleeing IraqisFighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have reportedly captured up to 3,000 fleeing villagers in northern Iraq, according to the UN refugee agency, or UNHCR.

In its daily report on events in Iraq, UNHCR said on Friday that 12 of the captives were thought to had been executed by ISIL, also known as ISIS.

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Scathing report in Britain slams Tony Blair over Iraq War

Blair must face war crimes trialThe Iraq war was mounted on flawed intelligence, was executed with “wholly inadequate” planning, and ended “a long way from success,” according to a damning report released Wednesday by the head of Britain’s Iraq War inquiry.

Retired civil servant John Chilcot, who oversaw the seven-year inquiry, said “the U.K. chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.”

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