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By Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi army and Kurdish forces closed in on Islamic State fighters on Saturday in a push to break the Sunni militants' siege of the Shi'ite town of Amerli, army sources said. Two officers said Iraqi troops, militia and Kurdish peshmerga were advancing from four directions on the northern town, which has been surrounded by Islamic State forces for more than two months. In a separate incident on Saturday, a suicide bomber driving a car packed with explosives killed at least 11 people in a town just south of Baghdad. Armed residents of Amerli have managed to fend off attacks by the Islamic State fighters, who regard its majority Shi'ite Turkman population as apostates.
All 75 Filipino troops serving as UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights are safe after the last batch slipped away under cover of night from besieging Syrian rebels, military spokesmen said Sunday. Military chief General Gregorio Catapang called it "the greatest escape," and praised the soldiers. The troops are part of a UN peacekeeping force which has been stationed in the Golan Heights since 1974 to monitor a ceasefire between Israel and Syria. We left our (old) position but we brought all our arms," said Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala.