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The US said Wednesday its assessment team found “far fewer” Yazidi refugees marooned on a northern Iraqi mountain than expected, making an evacuation mission less likely, after air strikes pummelled besieging Islamic militants. The UN refugee agency had said tens of thousands of civilians, many of them Yazidis, were trapped on Mount Sinjar by jihadists from the Islamic State militant group, which has overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria.

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