By Isabel Coles KABERLI Iraq (Reuters) - A new map is being drawn across the plains of northern Iraq as Sunni militants of the Islamic State purge the rural landscape of religious and ethnic minorities that have co-existed for hundreds of years. More than half a million people have been displaced across Iraq since June, when the north's biggest city, Mosul, fell to Sunni insurgents who have harried Shi'ite Turkmen and Shabaks, Yezidis and Christians. Now the Islamic State's cleansing campaign has rid farmland and villages in the surrounding Nineveh province and beyond of longtime minority inhabitants, leaving the country's north segregated along clear sectarian and ethnic lines.
An Air Algerie plane with more than 110 people on board including French and Spanish nationals went missing Thursday during a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers, company sources and officials said. Algerian radio said 51 French citizens and 26 from Burkina Faso were among the 116 passengers on the plane which dropped off the radar as it overflew northern Mali. France's Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said that top civil aviation officials were holding an emergency meeting and a crisis cell had been set up. "The plane disappeared at Gao (in Mali), 500 kilometres (300 miles) from the Algerian border.