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Iraqi forces have retaken around 30 percent of west Mosul from Islamic State militants, a commander of the elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) said on Sunday, as soldiers pushed further into the jihadists' territory.

Disgraced South Korean leader Park Geun-hye left the presidential Blue House on Sunday, two days after a court dismissed her over a corruption scandal, facing life as a private citizen and the possibility of jail.

The death toll from a double bomb attack targeting Shi'ites visiting a pilgrimage site in Damascus has climbed to 74, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Sunday.

President Tayyip Erdogan sought to build cooperation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Friday over military operations in Syria, as Turkey attempts to create a border "safe zone" free of Islamic State and the Kurdish YPG militia.

Iraqi U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said on Friday there was "no evidence" that Islamic State had used chemical weapons in Mosul, where the militants are fighting off an offensive by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces.