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France calls for UN talks over Iraq

France has pressed the United Nations for a security council emergency meeting over the advances of Islamic militants in Iraq.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France was "very deeply concerned by the ... seizure of Qaraqoush, Iraq's biggest Christian village, and by the intolerable abuses committed".

He asked that the international community mobilises itself against the threat and brings help.

The capture of Qaraqoush and at least four other nearby hamlets by the group that calls itself the Islamic State brings the militants to the very edge of Iraqi Kurdish territory and its regional capital, Irbil.

Witnesses say tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters have fled.

Mr Fabius added that it was the civilian population and the religious minorities that are the worst hit.

Britain holds the Security Council presidency this month and its UN Mission has tweeted that the council will hold closed consultations on Iraq tonight, after talks about the situation in central Africa.

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