BARTELLA, Iraq The din of bullets, mortars and bombs in the northern Iraqi town of Bartella was replaced momentarily on Friday by a sound not heard there for more than two years: the peal of church bells.
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QAYYARA, Iraq Islamic State launched a major attack on the city of Kirkuk on Friday as Iraqi and Kurdish forces pursued operations to seize territory around Mosul in preparation for an offensive on the jihadists' last major stronghold in Iraq. | Video
BEIRUT Syria's army and Russia's air force halted their bombardment of rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Friday, a monitoring group said, on the second of four consecutive daytime unilateral ceasefires in the city that have been rejected by insurgents.
UNITED NATIONS United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday he will return to South Korea in January after heading the world body for a decade to consider what role he can play in the future of his country amid a push for him to run for president.
LONDON London City airport was declared safe on Friday after hundreds of passengers had to be evacuated and two were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties in an incident that police suspect was caused by CS gas.
SIRTE, Libya Sheltering in tunnels, improvised bunkers and rooms fortified by sand-filled fridges, Islamic State is holding out in the Libyan city of Sirte, defending itself with snipers, booby-traps and car bombs against pro-government forces.